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The Civil Media Company aims to build a new journalistic ecosystem, a decentralised marketplace for sustainable journalism. Its blockchain-based approach takes advertisers and other third parties out of the equation, allowing journalists to focus on serving their readers alone.
Newsrooms will focus on local, international, investigative and policy journalism. Currently, there fourteen, which includes startups like ZigZag and Block Club Chicago. The Civil Media Company has allocated $1MM USD in grants to support this “First Fleet” of more than 100 full-time, veteran journalists.
Civil’s model enables a more direct, transparent connection between citizens and newsmakers, and strengthens protections for journalists against censorship and intellectual property disputes.
Civil is a for-profit company that is funded with $5 million from Consensys, which helps companies build on the Ethereum blockchain.
It has been built in conjunction with the Civil Foundation, a nonprofit that has an impressive team headed up by Vivian Schiller as the CEO, and advisors such as Columbia University’s Emily Bell, and former Gizmodo Media Group CEO Raju Narisetti. The foundation will provide operational support, and act as an appeals body capable of overturning community decisions if found to be in direct violation of the Civil Constitution. Over time, this council will become decentralised and grow in a democratic fashion.
Incorporating a Token (CVL), Civil aims to form a self-governing system to promote ethical, high-quality journalism. Only community-approved newsrooms can publish content on Civil.
If a Civil network participants (defined as CVL token owners), believes a newsroom violates any of the ethical values outlined in the Civil Constitution, they can challenge its ability to appear on the Civil Registry by staking tokens. The larger CVL token-holder community is then notified of the challenge and a vote will take place, also via CVL tokens, with a simple majority required for consensus.
2018 August – Associate Press (AP) signs a two-part deal with Civil to jointly develop a blockchain based-technology that will let Civil newsrooms track the flow of their content and enforce licensing rights. The deall also stipulates that AP will license its content to the newsrooms in the Civil network, as it does with other news outlets.
CRYPTO TOKEN: CVL (Civil)
MATTHEW ISLES – CEO & Co-founder
Matthew first wrote about the concept behind Civil in November 2016. He studied journalism at Duke University before embarking on an entrepreneurial career in digital marketing and innovative business modeling. Beyond advocating for sustainable journalism, Matthew also believes deeply in evolutionary organisational methods over traditional command-and-control hierarchies. At Civil, Matthew and the team practice what he originally coined Synchronicity — a cascading, distributed leadership model predicated on vast common knowledge, continuous realignment and a deep appreciation for everyone’s personal self-identity. He resides in Brooklyn.
VIVIAN SCHILLER – CEO Civil Foundation & Civil Council Head
Experienced executive at the intersection of journalism, media and technology, appointed to set up and run the Civil Media Foundation as it’s founding CEO. Vivian’s previous positions include Head of News at Twitter, leading its global news efforts, working both internally and externally on Twitter’s strategy and product; Senior Vice President and Chief Digital Officer at NBC News, Vivian led NBC News Digital; Senior Vice President and General Manager of NYTimes.com; Executive Vice President CNN Productions. Vivian Graduated from Cornell University with a BA in Russian.
OTHER CO-FOUNDING TEAM MEMBERS INCLUDE:
LILLIAN RUIZ – Co-founder & Operations Lead
MATT COOLIDGE – Co-founder & Communications Lead
DANIEL SIEBERG – Co-founder & Business Development Lead
NGUYET VUONG – Co-founder & Product Design Lead
NICOLE BODE – Co-founder & Newsroom Strategy and Sustainability Lead
CHRISTINE MOHAN – Co-founder & Partnerships & Community Lead
DAN KINSLEY – Co-founder & Engineering Lead
JULIA HIMMEL – Co-founder & Product Designer
Civil is a decentralised marketplace for sustainable journalism, built on blockchain and crypto-economics. A ConsenSys spoke.