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Fellows' Papers
Business of Journalism

A comparative study of crowd-funding journalism in China, Taiwan and the UK

Zichao (‘Louis’) Liu, a senior writer at Southern People’s Weekly in China, has written a detailed study examining the practice of crowd-funded journalism. He was funded by the Open Society Foundation. Here he gives the details of his findings from his paper entitled ‘A comparative study of crowd-funding journalism in China, Taiwan and the UK’."The media industry has seen dramatic changes in the last few years. In this changing scenario, new funding sources for journalism are being sought. Among them, crowd-funding journalism, in which reporting is funded by donations from ordinary people, has been gaining attention worldwide. In a globalised world, crowd-funding journalism like many other new business models is not confined to one country. In recent years, it is increasingly adopted on online platforms around the world. "Through the methods of case studies, in-depth interviews, and comparative analysis of three representative crowdfunding journalism platforms: Zhongchou (China), WeReport (Taiwan) and Contributoria (UK), my paper seeks to provide a sociological and cultural account to the differences between them. What similarities and differences do these platforms bear? What causes these differences? What political, economic and social norms are at play with crowd-funding campaigns in each country? "The paper also tries to depict the possible future of crowd-funding journalism in China and attempts to give some practical suggestions to the practice of crowd-funding journalism.  Some of these are to combine of publishing and advertising to change the current difficulties caused by its single business model, and to perfect the relevant rules of crowd-funding journalism and improve the quality of crowd-funded journalism projects." As with all Fellows’ research papers, any opinions expressed are those of the author and not of the Institute.