Crowdfunding started on Tuesday for the project, which will combine an army of volunteer contributors with paid, full time journalists who will fact-check and edit their content, Wired reports.
Communities who feel underrepresented by conventional news sources will also have the option of funding a reporter to cover a particular topic, Wales said in an interview with Wired.
“One of the things that community guidance can do is to help figure out what do we not know? What are the things we need to know? Then you’ve got a lot of minds thinking about and discussing that this is the piece of the puzzle that needs more research,” he said.
Wales said he chose to fund the project through the community model rather than investors because it eliminates the need for returns and commercial pressures that he says have led to “a race to the bottom” within the media industry. With Facebook (FB) and Google (GOOGL) monopolizing growth in digital ad revenue, he believes it’s time to experiment with alternative revenue models.
Supporters of Wikitribune will be asked to give $15 a month to pay for the site’s team of journalists, according to the Financial Times. The content, however, will be free to all.