As a sometime-participant in community-supported agriculture, I don’t find the idea of community-funded reporting entirely oddball. I even think it’s a creative idea. But I want to see how it works out.
Spot.Us is a nonprofit project to pioneer “community funded reporting.” Through Spot.Us the public can commission investigations with tax deductible donations for important and perhaps overlooked stories. If a news organization buys exclusive rights to the content, donations are reimbursed. Otherwise content is made available through a Creative Commons license.