Crowdsourcing funds journalism where press freedom is weak


Wendy Funes was poring over judicial records when she discovered that the remains of human fetuses and newborns had been found in an indigenous area of her native Honduras. The journalist, who was reporting on another story at the time, requested access for more public information on this grisly finding but prosecutors turned her down, notes Gary Regenstreif. Funes followed the dirt roads to the adobe houses of Honduras’  coffee-growing region to investigate in September 2016, funded by Press Start, a platform that crowdfunds independent journalism in countries where the press is not fully free, he writes for the Columbia Journalism Review:

Funes left her newspaper job last year to found the investigative website Reporteros de Investigación (Investigative Journalists). Earlier this year, Index on Censorship presented her with a Freedom of Expression Award, which followed an award from PEN Canada late last year. Press Start is an offshoot of Transitions, an NGO in Prague that runs journalism courses and publishes an online magazine about Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. Its founder, US journalist Jeremy Druker, launched Press Start in 2016  with help from Google’s Digital News Innovation Fund. The National Endowment for Democracy provided funds to create the prototype for the platform.


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