The second year birthday for the Scoop Foundation for Public Interest comes up at the end of September. By then we will have recovered from frenetic election excitement but will we have a new Government? It’s looking like a close run, with MMP to the fore.
Election years sharpen the need for independent, accurate and honest news in New Zealand, and www.scoop.co.nz has risen to that challenge in 2017, supported by the Foundation. This was a year for the website to flourish, with initiatives that include:
• A refreshed and redeveloped website was launched in May
• A series of HiveMind online debates have taken place using the artificial intelligence software Pol.is.
• We also published numerous related articles including a review by Alison McCulloch of a paper by AUT’s construction industry expert professor John Tookey.
• Subsequent HiveMind’s have covered approaches to freshwater and most recently one on the Universal Basic Income has attracted the interest of international researchers.
• The launch of Any Questions, a question and answer website for people and organisations to ask questions of party spokespeople.
• The launch of our Opening the Election page
• Scoop live streamed the public lecture of Modern Monetary Theorist Bill Mitchell when he was in New Zealand recently.
For the Foundation, this has been a consolidation year, focused on smoothing out some of the administration bumps, In particular, I am glad to announce that from September supporters of the Scoop Foundation have the option of making monthly donations, an option that many of you requested. Small amounts regularly is something many of us find easier to provide, rather an annual donation. And any small (or larger) donation is very welcome.
This option has been put in place through PressPatron – a NZ software developed by Wellingtonian Alex Clark. PressPatron is providing the same service to other news sites – and with IT support from our wholly owned subsidiary, Scoop Publishing Ltd. The Scoop Foundation depends on funding from readers and supporters.
We remain committed to the old maxim that freedom of choice in democracy rests on freedom from funding, bribes and influence, whether from corporates or political parties. An independent news media protects that freedom of choice.
Find out more from our Foundation page at our homepage https://foundation.scoop.co.nz.