What is the new funding model for the media?

Prior to the Internet, journalism was funded primarily by advertising. With the advent of online social media, the lion's share of the advertising dollars now goes to a handful of tech giants, putting the viability of the whole industry in jeopardy.

The solution is not paywalls, donations, patronage or novel ways to attract advertisers. These are unsustainable. The simpler and more practical solution is to divert a portion of the advertising dollars into something more productive. This can be achieved by expanding the idea of corporate social responsibility to include the funding of the media sector.

This expansion will occur through the establishment of Trruster as a global reputation search engine. The mechanism is our subscription fee for Businesses and Groups which includes a social responsibility component equal to 1% of annual revenue.

While not every business needs to advertise, every business needs to maintain a reputation and this means our subscription model will eventually extend to the whole global economy with an estimated revenue stream that is estimated to exceed US$100 trillion by 2025.

What is the offer to publishers?

Trruster offers media publishers  a new distribution channel, funded by corporate social responsibility.

This means that we can bring down the cost to the consumer to just $1 per month, while ensuring that all publishers and their content producers are adequately rewarded.

How does the concept work in practice?

Every month 80% of all Trruster revenue (Available Revenue) will be distributed to the media sector based on the following simple formula.

  • Every month we calculate the subscription unit price  based on the Available Revenue divided by total number of subscribers to the various media publications listed on Trruster.
  • For each listed publication we multiply the total number of subscribers by the subscription unit price to arrive at the revenue amount.
  • We pay the revenue amount directly to the publishers.

Why would the business community subscribe?

The simple answer is because it's a market economy.

If enough people start to use Trruster in making their purchase decisions then market forces will ensure that every business, large and small, will subscribe, or risk going out of business.

Currently businesses spend anywhere between 5%-15% of revenue on advertising, promotions and customer retention.

The Trruster service can likened to a unique type of advertising and promotion for which a premium price applies. With time, it will provide a much bigger return on investment than chasing eyeballs through traditional advertising.

How does this initiative overcome "fake news"?

Once Trruster is established, anyone can quickly determine the veracity of any news item by simply referring to the reputation of the author or the publication, and the non-anonymous feedback on the subject of the news item from the Trruster community.

With time, the message will simply be: If it's not on Trruster, it can't be trusted.

How will Trruster free the commentary?

Most online commentary has become increasingly tribal with both publishers and audience actively discouraging opposing viewpoints. The result is that most discussion occurs in echo chambers, leading to all sorts of societal distortions and contributing to both political and economic instability.

A big part of the problem are paywalls putting economic pressure on publishers to toe-the-line of increasingly partisan audiences:

"If news is cheap, opinion is cheaper. And yet, the paywall has encouraged publications to become more opinionated and more extreme, in the hopes their readers will be more likely to subscribe to a paper that vehemently agrees with them. “We’re not just any pundits — we’re the pundits who aggressively validate your existing beliefs and justify your anger."

Rob Howard Quartz

Trruster brings not only real-world civility to online discussion but also the ability to analyze and structure the feedback in a variety of ways making it useful for decision-makers and policy planners.

Freeing the commentary empowers the people.

Who manages this site?

The CEO and founder is George Matafonov.

What is the new funding model for journalism?

Prior to the Internet, journalism was funded primarily by advertising. With the advent of online social media, the lion's share of the advertising dollars now goes to a handful of tech giants, putting the viability of the whole industry in jeopardy.

The solution is not paywalls, donations, patronage or novel ways to attract advertisers. These are unsustainable. The simpler and more practical solution is to divert a portion of the advertising dollars into something more productive. This can be achieved by expanding the idea of corporate social responsibility to include the funding of the media sector. We call this the CSR Funding Journalism (CSRJ) model.

This expansion will occur through the establishment of Trruster as a global reputation search engine. The mechanism is our subscription fee for Businesses and Groups which includes a social responsibility component equal to 1% of annual revenue.

While not every business needs to advertise, every business needs to maintain a reputation and this means our subscription model will eventually extend to the whole global economy with an estimated revenue stream that is estimated to exceed US$100 trillion by 2025.

Why would the business community subscribe?

The simple answer is because it's a market economy.

If enough people start to use Trruster in making their purchase decisions then market forces will ensure that every business, large and small, will subscribe, or risk going out of business.

Currently businesses spend anywhere between 5%-15% of revenue on advertising, promotions and customer retention.

The Trruster service can likened to a unique type of advertising and promotion for which a premium price applies. With time, it will provide a much bigger return on investment than chasing eyeballs through traditional advertising.

How much of the CSRJ revenue will be distributed and when?

80% of all Trruster revenue will be distributed to the media sector based on feedback on articles listed on Trruster.

The remaining 20% will be used in developing, administering and maintaining a range of supporting services, including advertising-free and privacy friendly social media applications.

Distribution will commence once Trruster reaches critical mass. (We estimate about 500k members.)

How will the CSRJ revenue be distributed and shared?

The distribution and sharing of CSRJ revenue will be very similar to how advertising currently funds the media sector.

Advertising works on recording and paying for clicks and views.

The CSRJ revenue process is very similar. Members can participate by adding a Trruster feedback link to an article they have listed on Trruster and invite people to give feedback.

feedback_mediumFor example, a member who reads an article and finds the content valuable and informative will be encouraged to click on the accompanying Trruster Feedback button to record feedback.

Positive feedback results in Trruster credits being allocated as follows:

  • 0 credits for  “very unhappy”,  “unhappy”very unhappy
  • 10 credits for “neutral”Neutral
  • 30 credits for “happy”happy
  • 60 credits “very happy ”Very happy

At the end of each month, the total credits accumulated will be used as the basis for sharing revenue.

The fact that users determine value directly and reward accordingly will result in a powerful form of community moderation.

The following example illustrates how Trruster Credits are allocated to support freelance content developers as well as distributors.

An article written by single journalist with an image from a photographer would result in a 33% split between the three parties – the distributor and the two contributors (author and photographer).

A report with a distributor and four contributors would result in a 20% split between the five parties involved.

At the end of each month the Trruster Credits are used in the distribution of revenue and all the contributors are paid independently and directly.

One of the key benefits of this approach is how a good article or a great photograph can continue to generate income to the distributor and contributors long after the original was published due to its ongoing availability online.

Importantly, this approach provides the commercial basis for true independent journalism.

Do I have to be a professional journalist to participate?

No, any Premium Member can participate simply by publishing an article anywhere they like and listing a summary of the article on Trruster. Once listed, they can use the Trruster link to seek feedback.

This could be a blogger writing about local events, a musician announcing a new song or an author describing his or her new book.

It could also include providing summaries of articles published behind paywalls, so more people can benefit from the information.

The opportunities to share in this revenue stream are simply limitless.

For examples of how the concept works please see the following articles:

Climate Change: ‘Clear and Unequivocal’ Emergency, say Scientists

Trump, Impeachment & Forgetting What Brought Him to the White House

Brexit: Parliament Tethers Britain to a Failing Experiment

How does this initiative overcome "fake news"?

Once Trruster is established, anyone can quickly determine the veracity of any news item by simply referring to the reputation of the author or the publication, and the non-anonymous feedback on the subject of the news item from the Trruster community.

With time, the message will simply be: If it's not on Trruster, it can't be trusted.

What is the nature of the feedback rating? And why should everyone use Trruster for comments?

The first question relates to a very important distinction about the nature of feedback, which has two elements. The first is the quality of the writing/reporting and the second is the issue or issues that emerge as a result.

For example, it would be inappropriate to give a big smiley face rating to a news item about some natural disaster. But it would be quite appropriate to give such a rating for the quality of the report.

This is why our feedback buttons are qualified as shown below.

What makes our Trruster feedback unique is the ability of the author to tease out the issues and steer comment and discussion in more productive ways than the usual generic comment sections.

Take, for example, an article announcing the latest news on, say, Brexit. This usually elicits all sorts of comments, often completely unrelated to the news being announced.

With Trruster, the author can tease the issues by adding them as Issues for feedback and discussion, as shown below.

People can now give additional feedback with regard to these specific questions.

This provides people with an opportunity not just to respond to a specific issue but also to provide additional feedback that can be analyzed as well. Check out the result analysis for an overview.

The ability to give feedback on both the quality of the writing/reporting coupled with the ability to steer comment and discussion in more productive way makes Trruster the ideal location for comment and discussion.

How will Trruster act as a distributor?

As Trruster membership grows, it will become the news aggregator/distributor of choice. We will highlight the latest stories, the most commented on, the most popular, the most highly rated and so on.

Each of these stories will then link back to the publisher site driving traffic and, ultimately, revenue.

All this will happen automatically.

How will Trruster free the commentary?

Most online commentary has become increasingly tribal with both publishers and audience actively discouraging opposing viewpoints. The result is that most discussion occurs in echo chambers, leading to all sorts of societal distortions and contributing to both political and economic instability.

A big part of the problem are paywalls putting economic pressure on publishers to toe-the-line of increasingly partisan audiences:

"If news is cheap, opinion is cheaper. And yet, the paywall has encouraged publications to become more opinionated and more extreme, in the hopes their readers will be more likely to subscribe to a paper that vehemently agrees with them. “We’re not just any pundits — we’re the pundits who aggressively validate your existing beliefs and justify your anger."

Rob Howard Quartz

Trruster brings not only real-world civility to online discussion but also the ability to analyze and structure the feedback in a variety of ways making it useful for decision-makers and policy planners.

Freeing the commentary empowers the people.

I am author/journalist, how do I get started?

Getting started is very simple.

  1. Join as Premium Member and complete your profile.
  2. Start by adding SUMMARIES of articles as Items in your Account together with a link to where the full text of your article is published.
  3.  For each article, generate a Trruster feedback link.
  4. Add this link to your articles wherever they are published.
  5. Promote your link.

I am a journalist working for MSM, can I also participate and how?

Yes, you can participate and any revenue distribution will be paid directly to you, as if you were an independent journalist.

If your employer is also a member of Trruster, you can include it as a contributor (as the publisher in this case) and it will also be eligible for revenue distribution.

I am a publisher, how do I get started?

You can join as a Publisher and be eligible for distribution from our CSR revenue media model as follows:

  1. Join as a Personal Member.
  2. Open a Business member account for your publishing business.
  3. Invite your journalists/contributors to join as Premium Members.
  4. Request that your journalists/contributors add SUMMARIES of their articles to Trruster for feedback. Ask them to include your publishing business as a contributor.
  5. Add the Trruster feedback links they will generate to all the articles in your publication.

I am a photographer, can this work for me?

Yes, photographers will be one of the main beneficiaries of this initiative. Every time a photograph is used in an article, the photographer gets an equal share of the revenue generated. See our example article on Donald Trump using a photograph by Gage Skidmore.

We ask our member photographers to include their Trruster profile as the link in their credit requirement. This has the potential to be one of the best ways to promote and establish our service as the new funding model for the media sector.

I am not a journalist, just an ordinary person so why should I pay to give feedback?

You are not paying just to give feedback. By joining, your small financial contribution will be leveraged to evolve the whole media sector beyond paywalls, advertising, donations and patronage.

The current media model is failing and more media outlets will be forced to go behind paywalls or go out of business. This will result is less diversity and higher costs to access information.

By joining, you will be supporting the journalists who hold truth to power and you will also be helping us to realize our vision of free access to news and analysis for everyone, everywhere.

Most importantly, your small contribution will help to realize the promise of technology, which is the transfer of power from the elites to the people.

Who manages this site?

The CEO and founder is George Matafonov.