The news industry has come a long way. One of the first known media outlets was ancient Rome’s renowned Forum which hosted a special table giving citizens insights into the latest Senate decrees and news from around the nation.
More recently, news outlets have gradually become parts of enormous media corporations. Even with the advent of the Internet, the situation did not experience any dramatic changes. The most renowned and popular newspapers like The New York Times are still controlled by big companies.
The situation is even worse in countries where freedom of speech enjoys less protections than here in the United States. In those nations, the media is directly or indirectly controlled by the national government. State controlled media’s main purpose is to exercise a propagandist agenda, not to tell people what has actually happened.
However, even in those countries where free speech is relatively strong, the reality of the post-truth era casts doubt on the integrity of news from centralized outlets.
The Blockchain can Uphold Free Speech
The strong centralization we see in the journalism world today has created a large demand for truly independent news organizations. This kind of news platform could provide insight into literally any topic or point of view, thereby freeing readers from any agenda that an editorial board or a newspaper owner could have.
With the advent of blockchain technology, this degree of decentralization has finally become feasible. Automating an editorial board with blockchain technology would produce a product that could actually prevent censorship and hidden agendas.
There have been some attempts to utilize blockchain technology in the media industry. Some have focused on social media – think Steemit and Akasha – or content distribution, like DECENT. However, none have actually tried to build a blockchain-powered news platform until now.
The Advent of a Decentralized Media Outlet
Snip is a project that builds a decentralized news platform. It has also set a goal of creating an entity that is completely independent from any outside player, and completely controlled by the community.
At Snip, everyone is entitled to write news articles. These are preferably short and tell a story on any topic, from sports to politics to culture. Users are incentivized to keep their texts brief and use references to prove that their stories are not made up.
Most importantly, it is the community that decides whether a given story – also known as a snip – is actually worthy. They vote using an in-platform currency, SnipCoin, thus rewarding writers and promoting good stories.
Readers can tailor their newsfeeds to include news by certain authors or on certain topics, thereby ensuring they stay up to date on their interests. The platform also offers a premium experience, where all stories are written by professional journalists.
As blockchain technology and community consensus replace the old-fashioned centralized entities inherent in traditional media, an entire platform can host literally any point of view. This protects freedom of speech above all else.
In ancient Rome, news was handled by the citizens of Rome. Even though there were tables at the Forum, people were free to discuss events and spread the word, creating a vast diversity of opinions and impressions. When the industry became centralized, the focus shifted to consuming whatever a corporation or a government deemed appropriate, or what sold more papers.
Decentralized solutions can bring news back to where it belongs. When the community creates and reads news, it becomes virtually impossible to push a single agenda. Most importantly, it lays a foundation for what media will look like in the decentralized society of tomorrow.
This is a sponsored post and does not necessarily reflect the views of any The Merkle employees.