The blockchain-based media platform, Civil, is intending on launching a brand-new site called ‘The Blackness’. The effort was built in association with Color Farm Media, a media company and venture studio that began in 2017.
Color Farm Media was originated with the goal of developing and generating content that brings vaster multifariousness to the media landscape.
The goal of ‘The Blackness’ is quite similar to that. ‘The Blackness’ aims at publishing long-form multimedia tales that centre on under-represented societies of colour. Stories of marginalised groups, what they’re doing, and what’s been done to them are also part of its objective.
One of the co-founders of Color Farm Media, Erika Alexander, said: “It’s like a Vice, but for those communities”. She also added that the idea behind the publication was to talk about things that vanish.
Erika Alexander along with the other Co-Founder & CEO at Color Farm Media, Ben Arnon, is currently trying to forge partnerships with many journalistic organisations that can help produce content for ‘The Blackness’.
These organisations include the National Association for Black Journalists, along with numerous historically black institutes and academies. Arnon mentioned that they are looking for a distributed network of journalists.
Both of them plan to build a media company that sells new and engaging multimedia stories. They plan on accomplishing this by working with these groups, and sourcing talent from organisations that seek out marginalised voices.
Their reason for using the Blockchain
When the idea for ‘The Blackness’ was first conceived, it wasn’t clear as to what form it would take. Arnon said that one of the early ideas was to launch a podcast. Erika and Arnon then thought of starting a broadcast journalism venture, but the other Color Farm Media projects took priority for some time.
Then, Arnon began conversing with Civil regarding a partnership. They made up their mind that ‘The Blackness’ would exist on Civil’s recently started blockchain-based platform.
Even though the front end of the Civil’s website appears normal, their back-end architecture is produced using a ledger technology that records every change, protecting the story archive from any external interference.
This is what made Erika and Arnon partly interested in the technology. Arnon mentioned that he was involved in blockchain technology for a long time and that he was immediately drawn to Civil’s project.
Also, the community-driven governance model of Civil seemed like a perfect use case for the organisations that Color Farm Media was hoping to partner with. The platform is expected to release Ethereum-based tokens within September 18 and October 2 of 2018.
These tokens will help in creating an economic system of incentives for the token-holder community. Holding a Civil token gives people voting rights. They are used when questions about the future of the platform come up.
Similarly, token-holders will be asked to vote on the issue if someone claims that a newsroom confronted Civil’s constitution. These coins can also be used to initiate their newsrooms.
Civil essentially wish to create a community where the users have an absolute interest in its livelihood. A bunch of Civil-based news sites has already started appearing. They include Popula, Sludge and Hmm Daily. Popula is a globally focused site of media publications, Sludge is a news website mostly covering investigative journalism, and Hmm Daily is a launch-pending site from Gawker and Awl alums.
Ben Arnon and Erika Alexander will be token holders when the coins are released. The co-founder & head of marketing at The Civil Media Company, Matt Coolidge, stated over an E-mail that they are also going to focus on “recruiting diversity-minded media organisations to join the network”.
Ben Arnon mentioned in an email that he views the role of token holder and recruiter as essential for a successful long-term alliance with Civil.
For now, Color Farm Media has only announced the newsroom and is in the process of finding a way to build it up the line. Alexander says that the next step is to elevate the site which would require some assistance.
Arnon envisions the site to have a similar structure to grassroots community organising. Stories and journalists ate first distributed at a local level, then moved up the newsroom’s chain. After that, it ultimately makes it to the site. He also said that the site would have “quality control layers” which Cale Guthrie Weissman of Fast Company website assumes that they mean editors.
Alexander and Arnon are very optimistic about Civil and the new technology it’s built upon helping ‘The Blackness’ to accomplish its mission to create a thriving space for marginalised voices in media. It might, in the process, even form a template for more fair journalism.