Vourno: A Crowd-Funding Platform for the News

If Joe Verdirame has his way, we’re all going to be ‘vournos’ pretty soon. You heard me: vourno, or a video journalist. Along with his brother and some friends from college, none of whom are practicing journalists, Verdirame has created the first crowdfunding platform focused solely on the news.

Set to launch this May with a handful of ready videojournalists, Vourno works much like other crowdfunding sites such as Kickstarter or Indiegogo, with a viewing platform to boot.

Explains Verdirame:

We love the news, but we saw this hole that needed to be fixed. We’re just for news, and we’re not just a funding platform, we’re providing an independent news network, a platform where users can build a portfolio, and their pieces get rated. With our platform, you get to see the end result and you can keep following your vourno.

Journalists who want to produce their own magazine news show, cover a story they feel is missing from the mainstream, or head overseas to break news, create a Project, in Vourno parlance. Each project has thirty days to reach its funding goal. Once it gets funded, the journalist goes out to produce the segment and then posts in on the Vourno site.

If you’re not a journalist, you can head to Vourno to donate and fund a project, submit an idea, or just watch the news.

Some exciting features:

1) It’s not just a crowd-funding platform, but an independent news network once it gets up and running. Says Verdirame:

If you’re using the platform, we require the vourno to premiere it on our site and keep it on our site for a seven day period. After that time they can physically upload their file anywhere they want, but during that time, they can share and promote the video using their link on our site. That way we garner viewership and they can use our rating and ranking system.

2) The ratings, ranking and portfolio pages are great for rookies just out of j-school to gain exposure, experience, and a following. It’s also good for journalists who are sick of not being paid enough to report the news. Of course, you still won’t get rich quick by being a freelance vourno, but you can fund the work, and maybe add a stipend in the total cost of production. Verdirame says that once they garner an audience, they plan on running ads on the viewing platform and moving to a revenue sharing model with vournos.

3) You can also just submit ideas via the platform. So if you know you want to work a story, but not sure if it will be of interest to the general public, you can see what people are posting about and go from there. That way, you know certain ideas are bound to result in reaching your funding goal. It’s all centralized on their platform.

The site is still in testing mode right now, but if you already have a project in mind that you’d like to get funded, you can contact Joe at joe@vourno.com to be one of the first vournos to produce a project pitch. You can follow them on Twitter for launch news @Vourno. They already have about twenty projects lined up to launch come May, so if you’re sick of complaining about what isn’t being covered in the media or the lack of good content, get your credit card ready to donate.

I’m looking forward to seeing what comes of the platform. Do you think you’d watch the news on Vourno or use it to fund a project?