Blank Spot Project
Now you can become part owner in one of Sweden’s most exciting media project. In our crowd funding campaign that caught much attention last year, we raised 1.3 million SEK. During 2015 we also managed to raise an additional 1.2 million and by that showed that there’s a strong interest and people are willing to pay for quality journalism. Together with 3,027 people, we have started a movement with the goal to cast light on the blank spots of our world and also increase awareness of the role of journalism as a cornerstone of a democratic society.
An investment in Blank Spot is an investment for the freedom of speech. You who contribute will be a part of developing the organization to a longterm and stable product with continuous growth of subscribers. You will get a lifetime membership and free access to all our lectures and workshops, as well as the ability to follow the Blank Spot work in an exclusive partner group, who get to meet the editorial staff twice per year for balance meetings. You become a part of Sweden’s most exciting journalistic initiative.
The problem this product solves
The fast-changing Internet has led to a larger demand for the journalistic craft. The business plans of large media organizations have also been challenged by digitizing. Media organizations have been forced to cut their budgets, and new rooms have been reduced. Out in the field, journalists are shot, kidnapped and imprisoned. Terrorist organizations, multinational corporations and the general public around the world are questioning journalism in general.
We have been concerned with this development. We decided to do something about it. Our hope is to raise awareness and remind people that journalism is a pillar of a democratic society
How the product solves it
Blank Spot is a reportage site for the global citizen who’s looking for more perspectives on our world today. We produce investigative, independent journalism. We give people, who otherwise never come in contact with journalists, a way to communicate with the world, and we highlight forgotten angles, conflicts and continents. The blank spots can also represent slow moving processes or themes missing in other media.
Another unique aspect of Blank Spot is its close, collaborative relationship with readers. We regard readers as members of our organization, involved in the work in a variety of ways. Together, we produce quality journalism.
We sell quality journailsm to engaged readers via blankspotproject.se. The content is produced by some of Sweden’s best journalists. An independent editorial staff carefully selects the reporters and story ideas. Twelve guidelines dictate the editorial work. Stories are often shared with other national and international media.
The uniqueness is our collaboration with our readers. They are co-creators.
We aim to form long-term relationship with them, built on trust. The product is based on the interaction between the readers’ curiosity and awareness and our journalistic craft. We aim to go from 3,000 to 6,000 subscribers in 2016.
Product use cases
Blank Spot is a vaccine against the ever stronger anti-democratic winds infecting the world in which more and more people question the freedom of the press and the role of journalism. We show how the journalistic process works and why it costs a lot of money. We illustrate that to produce quality journalism, you have to have an organization with resources to provide safety, equipment, logistics, editorial staff, and time.
Three billion people are connected by the internet today, and our readers get up-to-date news and learn about unique incidents. We also utilizes the knowledge and interest of our readers.
Two particularly interesting target groups are the population of young adults 20-30 years of age and purchasing power news consumers. 93% of Swedes have access to the Internet. 70% of them use Facebook. 40 million Swedish Google searches are done daily. A new Novus survey says 68% of Swedes say they lack broader and in-depth perspectives in today’s international reporting. Among students, the figure is as high as 84 percent. Projected growth in number of subscribers:
• 2016 – 6,000
• 2017 – 10,000
• 2018 – 15,000
• 2019 – 20,000
• 2020 – 30,000
Several actors on the Swedish media market have launched new and exciting international reporting efforts. These are mostly done from a traditional news logic and approach. Our ambition to be on location before, during and after incidents, events and conflicts along with reaching a global audience, has little competition. There are some niche media actors within the aid organization community, but none with the close connection to such a large audience.
More than other media organizations, NGOs and other actors for change are more likely to be Blank Spot’s competiton for funding and reach.
Unique differentiator from competitors
What sets us apart from other media is how we prioritize an intimate relationship with our readers. It’s just as an important part of our work as the content we provide. We see us as a collaborative effort, based just as much on quality journalism as it is on engaged readers and members. Therefore, our journalists are both dialogue managers and content providers.
In 2016 through digital media channels and personal experiences, people know more about the world than ever before, it is also clear what perspectives are missing. Together with our readers we want to identify these blank spots.
Company revenue streams
Our main revenue comes from members who pay for quality journalism. The reportage can be read by everyone on an open and ad free platform. We don’t believe in paywalls. The members show they value our content and format by offering monetary support. Backers are also invited to communicate with the editorial staff. The relationship between editorial staff and reader contributes to even better journalism. In addition to memberships, our revenue comes in form of larger donations and support, along with the sale of knowledge, competence and concept.
Blank Spot distributes content through Blankspotproject.se and social media channels. The founders are also using their personal brand’s platforms to distribute the journalism/content. Some of the Blank Spot reportages are recurringly published in printed materials such as our first issue, BlankSpot#0. In addition, the meetings between journalists and the readers nationally and internationally are very important to our distribution and reach. Our longform pieces usually receieve are picked up by traditional media.
Blank Spot is part of the international investigative network “Eye on Corruption” which brings together some of the world’s finest investigative journalists. We also collaborate with German “Krautreporter” and other crowd funded initiatives in Greece, Holland, Hungary and the USA. Martin Schibbye is often invited as a speaker at international media forums and conferences.
Sven Hagströmer and his expertize and network is valuable for Blank Spot’s development.
Blank Spot Project is a member of the Swedish Magazine Publishers Association (SMPA).
In addition, the operational team has a large network within news-and publishing, non-profits and in the business world.