Vancouver Online Experiment Pays Off

Would you pay to read news online that you want covered?  That’s what every major news business wants to know and it seems that Vancouver’s Tyee, an online daily news magazine has proved that if the news matters–we would pay.

According to an article in the Globe and Mail, the Vancouver citizen journalism site asked readers to donate cash to pay for provincial election coverage and they did–almost $10,000 worth of it. The Tyee’s Founder and Editor-In-Chief, David Beers says he thought the Tyee would be lucky if they got $5,000.  He also thinks there is nothing keeping traditional, bigger media corporations from trying this model and succeeding.

A lot of it is based on the relationship you have built up with your reader community. If they believe you do good work, and they feel there’s a need for you to focus your expertise in a certain area, why not ask them to help.

The Election Issue Fundraising drive began April 6 and ends today.  The Tyee gets about 250,000 visits a month and covers a mix of news, investigative features and pop culture. It launched in 2003.  The best part?  They didn’t even offer a charitable tax receipt to those who made a donation.