A decentralized journalism protocol - immutable, versioned, verifiable journalism
dBranch.news is a DAO-based approach to decentralizing the news media using web3 technology. The idea is to break up the news into several branches. By decoupling each branch’s financial incentives, we can minimize pernicious aspects of the legacy media’s business model.
As legacy media has been losing its trust and viewership, independent media has stepped up. It’s matured over the years but lacks an economic model with investigative researchers and field crews on the ground, sourcing information. Bits and pieces of these exist in the new media space, but it is too fragmented to realize its full potential. Centralization can fix the fragmentation but is self-defeating. Instead, dBranch will standardize it, enabling it to scale without centralization. The dBranch protocol will add cohesion to independent media and replace legacy media as the network effect kicks in.
- Investigative Research
- Review (academic & creative)
- Studios, office & field crew
The dBranch DAO will maintain open source software and the protocol. It will be permissionless, use censorship resistant infrastructure, and it will have immutable versioned history.
Anyone can participate in any branch as a freelancer, DAO or other. The vision is a diverse ecosystem with many participants experimenting with various governance and hierarchy models.
Independent media is currently limited by its funding model. Low dollar subscribers are only able to support a small number of independent journalists each working to separate ends. dBranch will solve this problem by enabling the crowd to fund an entire ecosystem including investigative reporters, studios and field crews and curators who aggregate publications.
Contributors will be able to raise money like in any crowd funded application, but in dBranch the audience will also be able to create bounties to incentivize contributors to work on a specific topic. Independent media is already demonstrating the crowd’s ability to shift the overton window; dBranch will magnify this effect by giving viewers not only the ability to fund journalists but also to fund studios and democratically control access.
The audience DAO will enable people to pool their money and control its distribution. It could be as simple as pooling donations for a small group of otherwise independent journalists, or as complex as funding an entire ecosystem, ensuring a portion of the funds go to one or more organizations in each branch.
Journalists, commentators, analysts, etc. will all publish work as contributors, and by decorrelating their income from clicks, they can write how they want rather than how the algorithms want. Krystal and Saagar have demonstrated this with their show, Breaking Points. By relying on subscriptions instead of clicks, their total view count does not determine their income. dBranch will apply this same mechanism to the remaining branches.
dBranch will have an academic style of review, grading content on data, citations, logical reasoning, etc. Additionally, we’ll have creatives judge the content on subjective qualities like sensationalism, clickbait, and talking around the truth. Reviewer’s income will also not be tied to the click rate of published content which will open up their honesty.
Investigative journalists are vital to the news but difficult to fund. Their work often takes weeks or months with little to show for it. Dollar for dollar, a quick article about an inflammatory tweet is profitable, but that doesn’t mean it’s valuable to the audience.
DAOs will fund and control physical assets, such as studios, field crew equipment, and office space. It will function similarly to public studios, except the members of the DAOs will be able to vote on and control who has access.
Curators create the feeds, effectively the homepage of the decentralized news industry. Following the same funding model as the contributor branch, curators will not be forced to list content with the goal of retaining attention.