TILBURG, NETHERLANDS – The founders of BNO News today announced the launch of a crowdfunding campaign to develop CivicWire, an online platform to simplify newsgathering and news distribution on a global scale.
The campaign launched at 11 a.m. ET today. After reaching the goal, CivicWire plans to launch a beta version in parts of the United States and Europe this fall, followed by a rollout across the world in 2024.
With trust in journalism near a record low, CivicWire aims to make both journalism and government more transparent, giving people full access to the source material – emergency alerts, news releases, live press conferences and raw material, including bodycam footage and courtroom documents.
CivicWire is an international effort with journalists from Europe, the United States, and Mexico, led by Michael van Poppel, the founder of BNO News and previously @BreakingNews, the Twitter news service acquired by NBC News.
“During the past 16 years, I was constantly reminded of the problems related to newsgathering and how they undermine the public’s trust in journalism and government,” Van Poppel said. “Going through official websites and social media pages, calling police departments simply to get a copy of a press release, and searching for clips from press conferences are just some of the many obstacles I’ve come across. CivicWire is the answer to those problems.”
CivicWire will not use advertising and is free to use, with premium features to fund operational costs.
BNO News editor Carlos Robles, who will oversee CivicWire’s rollout in North and South America, said: “As a journalist I’ve seen the many problems with the current channels of news distribution, not only for journalists and the public, but also for the agencies themselves. CivicWire is a platform completely conceived and designed to modernize outdated systems, while directly tackling the pressing issue of disinformation.”
In addition to simplifying journalistic processes and creating greater transparency, CivicWire will also provide agencies with the tools to better inform their communities and empower smaller news outlets with greater and equal access to informati