Members of the Occupy Wall Street movement have turned to Kickstarter, an online crowdfunding platform, to fund their own broadsheet for the New York City protest. Crowdfunding—the term for such crowdsourced fundraising—has become increasingly popular for small businesses, startups, and now activist movements. On Tuesday Kickstarter even received its 1 millionth backer.
The volunteer media effort was started by two independent journalists, Arun Gupta and Jed Brandt, who refer to themselves as The 99%. They’re calling their media effort Occupy Wall Street Media and starting with their own broadsheet, The Occupy Wall Street Journal. The (Occupied) Journal’s fund description attacks corporate media by stating, “If we want people’s democracy then we’ve got to build a people’s media—the two are inseparable.”
In just under a month, The 99%’s Kickstarter account has raised more than $75,000 from almost 1,700 donors, surpassing its initial goal of $12,000 within eight hours of the account’s launch. In addition to newspaper media, the group claims that they will dedicate later funds to additional materials including stickers, posters, palm cards and flyers. They’re even using another crowdfunding site, LoudSauce, to raise money to put one of their Occupy videos on TV.
Regardless of your political leaning, it’s fascinating to watch the intersection of crowdsourcing and activism, especially when it comes to media. Whether you’re for or against the protests, it’s a unique application of crowdsourcing that is certainly worth noting. For more information, or to help fund Occupy Wall Street Media, visit their Kickstarter account.