Falconwing Media Wants Nearly 700 Writers ‘to Defend Internet’s Fundamental Values’

Falconwing Media is looking for 682 people to write three-sentence news summaries, embed them within images that are immune to blocking, and distribute them using social media. The news service will outcompete “oldmedia” — by writing “about civic issues relevant to the net generation” — and will “pay people well,” in Bitcoin.

“I just had had enough, and tried to come up with a way to circumvent these organizations that are still operating on a lot of pre-internet assumptions. Decoupling publication from distribution (creating news that get shared outside your control) is one such strategic action I don't see oldmedia catching up with in a decade, if ever.”

— Rick Falkvinge

Rick Falkvinge, Swedish IT serial entrepreneur and known founder of the Pirate Party, is creating a new reporting format designed to outperform what he calls "oldmedia." The news outlet will start in Europe, with ultimate plans to go global. They plan to begin with 21 writers plus a manager for each of 28 countries in the EU, plus Switzerland, Iceland and Norway. 

Falkvinge believes his methods could outcompete “those who aren’t doing journalism any longer” and the mainstream media that still lives in “yesterday’s Internet.” He hopes to bypass the usual elements of publication, distribution and advertising, with a goal of achieving a total of 30,000 impressions per story in order to break even financially.

Cointelegraph spoke with Falvinge about his idea. 

Cointelegraph: How did you come up with this idea to create such a different form of news reporting?

Rick Falkvinge: Basically, I saw that time and time again, the oldmedia outlets had reduced themselves to propaganda mouthpieces for corrupt and nepotistic regimes, presenting whatever preposterous-claims as objective divine truth. The latest scandal with the UK government trying to discredit Edward Snowden on complete fabrications through the Sunday Times is just one example, and an example where they happened to be caught with the hand in the cookie jar. But do remember that the BBC repeated the lies from Sunday Times at first.

I just had had enough, and tried to come up with a way to circumvent these organizations that are still operating on a lot of pre-Internet assumptions. Decoupling publication from distribution (creating news that get shared outside your control) is one such strategic action I don't see oldmedia catching up with in a decade, if ever.

In short, I saw a number of achilles heels that I realized I could combine to outcompete the dinosaurs on purely commercial merit.

CT: Where will this media be displayed and how often?

RF: We'll be posting to social media channels on all major platforms to encourage people to share. We also have this notion that just because it's serious, it doesn't have to be boring. There's an irritating notion that things that are really, really, really boring are also really, really, really professional. That's nonsense. Stuff doesn't get more professional or serious just because you're not enjoying it.

Therefore, this philosophy goes hand in hand with sharing: it's funny, and therefore, people share. And since people share, the concept works. And since it doesn't have to be boring, you shouldn't make it boring in the first place anyway.

I can't believe oldmedia hasn't figured this out themselves, to be honest — the very simple idea that people like reading and sharing things that make them smile.

“If you were to process legacy-banking payroll for some 700 people across 30+ countries, that would take at least four full-time people just on its own. Bitcoin can do it with a small shell script instead.”

CT: You’re choosing to pay journalists in Bitcoin only. What's the reasoning behind