Matt Coolidge, Civil cofounder, made the announcement today, October 9, 2018, in a blog post. He called the partnership a “major milestone for blockchain-based journalism.” Salah Zalatimo, senior vice president of product and technology at Forbes, said the partnership would allow the media company to provide “unprecedented transparency” around content.
Forbes plans to try out the Civil system next year. Kicking off the process, Forbes will integrate Civil’s software with its own custom-built content management system known as Bertie. Once that process is complete, journalists working under the Forbes umbrella will be able to upload metadata (information pertaining to who published a story and when) to the Civil network at the same time they upload their stories to Forbes.com.
The hope is that publishing this metadata onto the blockchain will help to establish the author’s identity and credibility. For added assurance, a Civil “badge” will appear next to articles as a signal that the content’s metadata has been recorded to the blockchain.
Forbes will start experimenting with a sampling of content (starting with its blockchain-related stories) in Q1 of 2019. If all goes well, the media company will begin uploading metadata from all of its new articles on Forbes.com to the Civil platform in the next 12 months.
According to Axios, which reported some additional information, Forbes also hopes to expand the footprint of its contributor network with smart contracts, which would allow it to publish content through Bertie to outlets like Medium and LinkedIn.
As part of the partnership agreement, Forbes will “possess” CVL tokens. (It’s not clear if Forbes needs to purchase the tokens or if Civil is planning to give them to Forbes.) Civil founder Matthew Iles said the tokens will play a “vital role” in self-governance on the platform. Participants in the system can use the tokens to vote for or against a newsroom that is being challenged for violating the Civil Constitution.
Beyond that, CVL tokens also play other roles in the system. For instance, contributors have to stake tokens in order to operate a newsrooms on the platform and propose amendments to the Civil Constitution. Readers can also use these tokens to tip their favorite newsrooms and journalist and pay for premium content where applicable.
Civil is not alone in its quest to put journalism on the blockchain. Other journalism-based blockchain projects include nwzer, Userfeeds, Factmata and Po.et, which was founded by Jarrod Dicker, a former vice president at the Washington Post.
Last year, Civil received $5 million in funding from blockchain venture studio ConsenSys. The project’s token sale, which started on September 18, 2018, is still ongoing. So far, Civil has raised about $1.4 million in token sales — a far cry from its hard-cap goal of $24 million. If the project does not hit a soft cap of $8 million, Civil has said it will return the ICO money.
Disclaimer: Bitcoin Magazine is an alpha partner of Po.et. BTC Inc., the parent company of Bitcoin Magazine, is an investor in Po.et.
Amy Castor is a full-time freelance writer and researcher who enthusiastically follows Bitcoin and Ethereum. She has been writing about technology for nearly two decades. You can follow her @girlandgrowl on Twitter.