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Why it’s smart of the HuffPo to partner with Beacon Reader in crowdfunding a reporter

Gigaom

The Huffington Post and Beacon Reader — a crowdfunding platform for journalism that we’ve written about before — announced on Wednesday that they have formed a partnership to fund and train a citizen journalist who is currently writing about the protests taking place in Ferguson, Mo. after the shooting of an unarmed black man. This announcement triggered a rather snarky response from a number of media writers, most of whom argued that the AOL-owned news outlet should just hire and pay the reporter themselves instead of asking readers to pay for it. But I think the HuffPo project is a smart idea, for a number of reasons.

One of the main reasons has to do with the point of crowdfunding, whether it’s on Indiegogo or Kickstarter or on one’s own website, as a number of journalists have done. Part of the idea behind asking the “crowd,” or a potential audience…

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