Forbes Partnering with Journalism Startup Civil
American business magazine Forbes will begin using the blockchain technology of Civil for select articles on its website in 2019. Civil is a tech startup building a multi-pronged online journalism business around Ethereum.
Subscribe to the Bitsonline YouTube channel for great videos featuring industry insiders & experts
Forbes to Begin Using Civil in 2019
The partnership will see Forbes use Civil’s smart contracts to publish article metadata to Ethereum’s blockchain beginning in the first quarter of 2019. Forbes won’t do this for all articles, though it leaves the door open to expanding its use of Civil’s system within the next 12 months, per a blog post.
Forbes also announced the news on Twitter:
We're excited to be working with blockchain startup @Join_Civil to learn first hand what the technology inspired by bitcoin might mean for media: https://t.co/7Du9qoLKgd by @sarafischer @Forbes pic.twitter.com/pkueDegeUI
— Forbes Crypto (@ForbesCrypto) October 9, 2018
As part of the deal, all content that Forbes publishes using Civil will follow the ethical journalism guidelines laid out in Civil’s Constitution. Forbes will also appear in the Civil Registry, which is a token-curated registry of newsrooms approved to publish using Civil.
Forbes claims that the metadata it publishes will include information that identifies authors and establishes the credibility of sources used in the article. Though it should be noted that a blockchain like Ethereum can’t really verify the identity or credibility of anyone. All it can do is establish that some data was stored to the blockchain at a certain time, which could have some utility nevertheless.
In order to let readers of Forbes know that a given article is using Civil’s system, a small badge will appear next to the article on its website. Civil will also integrate itself into Forbe’s content management system.
Salah Zalatimo, Senior Vice President of Product & Technology at Forbes, said that:
“Forbes and Civil believe passionately in the mission of journalism, and together we can provide audiences with a level of unprecedented transparency around our content. We’ll also be able to expand the reach of our writers and identify new revenue channels over time.”
Second Major Media Deal for Civil
This isn’t the first deal with a major media company for the startup, which was founded in June of 2017. In August of this year, Civil made a deal with the Associated Press, one of the oldest and largest press agencies in the United States.
That deal saw AP agree to license its content to the newsrooms that are part of Civil’s network, which currently counts 18 online publications. Also, the two organizations agreed to work together on Civil’s publishing system, with an eye towards using smart contracts to enforce licensing rights. Civil CEO Matthew Iles said that a live product would be ready within three months, so around December of this year.
Civil Looks to ‘Disrupt’ Journalism with ICO
Civil has made some pretty big claims about its plans for online journalism and has portrayed itself as an outsider tech startup set to disrupt the industry. One of its blogposts is entitled “Civil: A Bold Rebuke to the Status Quo,” and its tagline is “Building the New Economy for Journalism.”
Civil is currently holding an intitial token offering (ICO) to fund its operations that will last until October 15th. The ICO for its CVL token, which is an Ethereum-based ERC20 token, was initially scheduled to begin on August 13th but was delayed until September 18th. CVL tokens will be utility tokens that can be used in a blockchain-based voting process to challenge individual stories and manage the membership of newsrooms on the network.
There were reports in July that the ICO registration process, which is using Token Foundry’s platform and at one point required as many as 44 steps, was difficult to complete. Civil later began accepting payments of US dollars via electronic check or wire transfer.
It should also be noted that both of the deals Civil has made with Forbes and the AP do not involve publishing the actual text of articles to Ethereum’s blockchain. However, one of the websites that is part of the Civil network, Popula, has explicitly stated that as a goal.
What do you think? What does the Forbes deal mean for the future of jounalism and technology?
Images via Pixabay