Jon Russell was Asia Editor for The Next Web from 2011 to 2014. Originally from the UK, he lives in Bangkok, Thailand. You can find him on T Jon Russell was Asia Editor for The Next Web from 2011 to 2014. Originally from the UK, he lives in Bangkok, Thailand. You can find him on Twitter, Angel List, LinkedIn.
It’s been some six weeks since ‘hacktivist’ group Anonymous raised $55,000 from Indiegogo to build its own news site, and now the group has provided a few details about what it is cooking up.
In a pastebin note, the group said it is “working hard to design something clean and practical, but also fun to use”, with the aim of engaging ordinary people and providing news away from ‘corporate’ media companies.
The original intention was to go beyond its presence on Tumblr (which, now owned by Yahoo, may no longer be Anonymous’s cup of tea) and Twitter, where it has more than one million followers, as explained on the Indiegogo page:
We will engineer a new website which will allow us to collect breaking reports and blog postings from the best independent reporters online. We’ll provide feeds for citizen journalists who livestream events as they are taking place, instead of the 10-second sound bites provided by the corporate media.
That goal hasn’t changed and the group says Twitter will be “heavily integrated” with the new site, which will feature comparatively little integration with Facebook, presumably because breaking news comes via tweets. In addition, there will be no comment section because they are “rarely used to their full potential”.
The site will accept information and stories from the public, and, in particular, citizen journalists who are at the epicentre of breaking news, such as the protests in Istanbul this weekend.
Interestingly, the site will also feature content aggregated from external sources, including “independent media”, with permission. It’s not clear which partners are lined up, but it’s obvious to say it is likely to be independent news sites or bloggers, rather than big media corporations.
The announcement also hints vaguely that some media might be paid for their contributions, although that is not entirely clear:
While we believe information should be free, we also understand the value of journalism as a profession – *cough*Sun Times.
The group is promising to provide more details in the coming couple of days.
It was originally hoping to raise $2,000 from Indiegogo in order to develop an infrastructure to support an independent site, but the final tally went way beyond that target, giving it the scope to potentially do a lot more.
It is easy to dismiss Anonymous for lack of credibility at times and the absence of traditional organization, but the reality is that — going on its Twitter account, at least — the group has developed a significant profile for providing news and opinions. The extension of that into a news and content site, which has funding, will be interesting to observe.
Headline image via Rahman Roslan / Getty Images
Get the TNW newsletter
Get the most important tech news in your inbox each week.