Blockchain-Powered Journ Startup Partners With The AP For Content Licensing

Could this new partnership help put an end to the most daunting and enduring issues that modern journalism faces today?


The Civil Media Company, a blockchain-powered digital journalism startup announced that it has begun partnering with The Associated Press (AP), which will make AP news content accessible by Civil-affiliated newsrooms, according to the journalism startup’s blog post on August 28.

Commitment To Good Journalism

civil-logoAs mentioned above, AP will bring its content, be it national or international news, to Civil’s platform so that the startup’s affiliated newsrooms would be able to access it without having to worry about intellectual property, as they will be given license directly by the news agency.

Civil will, on its end, provide Civil tokens (CVL), which will be the preferred cryptocurrency for rewarding journalists who report articles, as well as those who will make informative and relevant videos and record podcasts. AP will be exploring additional uses of the token around tracking content usage and consumption trends, as well as securing intellectual property rights and supporting ethical journalism.

Jim Kennedy, AP’s Senior Vice President for Strategy and Enterprise Development, admitted that the media authority has been pushing into the new digital territory for more than two decades already, and the journalism startup “is opening up another new space with interesting technology to explore and a commitment to good journalism.”

The startup, powered by crypto giant ConsenSys, provides a system wherein proper authorship and ownership would be possible, while licensing terms would be accomplished seamlessly through the use of smart contracts. Furthermore, its marketplace would provide a way to incentivize those who would make significant contributions through quality content and relevant discourse in the community, as promulgated by Civil’s Constitution—its own code of conduct.

The Dawning Of A New Sun

This is just the start, as Civil will be announcing more partnerships with additional media organizations in the coming weeks.

Currently, there are at least 14 newsrooms running on Civil, including local journalism outlets Block Club Chicago, FAQ NYC, The River, and The Colorado Sun. It also powers investigative journalism agencies like ZigZag, Documented, and Sludge, as well as international media organizations like Global Background and Popula.

One local media outlet, The Colorado Sun, went through a dramatic start, as it is composed of disillusioned journalists from The Denver Post. These journalists resigned earlier this year due to a building tension between them and their publication’s owner, Alden Global Capital.

In April, staffers of The Denver Post didn’t mince their words when they published an opinion section composed of articles that were critical of ownership.

Now, a new sun has dawned, and with it the partnership with Civil.

Of And For Today’s World

True enough, the journalism startup iterated that they’re committed to partnering with organizations—be they small or large—that are “committed to promoting ethical journalism standards,” said Civil Co-Founder Matt Coolidge in the blog post.

Coolidge continued:

“We’re not trying to reinvent those on Civil; we’re trying to reinvent the way they’re enforced. We want to build a new economy for journalism, where ensuring quality is the primary incentive for all participants.”

The Journalist’s Creed says that journalism should be “stoutly independent, unmoved by pride of opinion or greed of power… is unswayed by the appeal of privilege or the clamor of the mob,” and is a “journalism of humanity, of and for today’s world.”

Could what Civil be building now be the very thing that could uphold the creed to the last letter? One can only wait and see.

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