2016 Winner

Crowdfunding for War Reporting

il Giornale.it

Milano, Italy

Category Launch of a Brand or Product to Create An Audience Segment

Media associated with this campaign

Overview of this campaign

View video here: https://vimeo.com/153401749

Over the last few years we have witnessed impoverished media due to the current global editorial crisis. War reporting has been one of the major casualties: it is extremely expensive. Loss of high quality journalism is thus at a risk.

To revive live reporting, in 2013 ilGiornale.it - the website version of ilGiornale, the fourth national print newspaper in Italy– decided to bet on its major resource: the readers. We involved them in producing the news by asking them to choose between two different reportings (Lybia and Afghanistan) and to support the one they liked best. The response was immediate: in less than three weeks we covered both the reportings with donations of the readers. Then, we established a new brand: Gli Occhi della Guerra (literally The Eyes of War) and created a new website,

On this website (www.occhidellaguerra.it) the readers can donate money through an in-house crowdfunding platform and read reportings as well as critical analysis together with commentaries on international affairs. To ensure complete transparency of the readers' money, ilGiornale.it started a measurable no profit association, The Association to Promote Journalism. Readers can keep track of all the reportings expenses: every single receipt produced by the reporters is published on the website. After an intense recruiting campaign for skilled reporters and photoreporters, we started creating a community through:

  • Strong direct marketing and social media campaigns
  • Public events
  • Publishings

The direct marketing and social media campaigns were performed through mailing and phone calls, thanking contributors in two specific manners. The standard low contributor was thanked on social media whereas the higher contributor involved in vis-a-vis meetings with the reporters in our newsroom.

Public exhibitions and conferences were organised using the material (photographs, videos, articles) originating from the reporters in war zones.

Gli Occhi della Guerra published a war photobook and an investigative journalistic book on the threat of Isis in Europe. Naturally all the money coming from sales were used to finance new reportings.

Results for this campaign

On December 2015, two years after it was launched, Gli Occhi della Guerra completed more than twenty reportings from countries plagued by conflicts all over the world (Afghanistan, Lybia, Syria, Ukraine, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Central African Republic, Hungary, Somalia, Bosnia, India, Chechen Republic, England, Kurdistan, Myanmar, France, Northern Ireland, Belgium, Lebanon, Germany). What seemed to be the major victim of the editorial crisis – war reporting- has been given a new life.

This benefits the community which is more informed on international issues. The readers are offered first hand news from different countries of the world.

Additionally the community campaigns and the very strong direct marketing strengthened the relationship between the newspaper and its readers: Gli Occhi della Guerra turned to be a real community of thousands of supporters. Assisted by us, the readers create public events (photographic exhibitions, book presentations, conferences) so as to raise money for new reportings. The readers themselves are actually the main sponsors of Gli Occhi della Guerra.

In 2015 ilGiornale.it increased its digital readership by +67% unique visitors and +31% page views compared to the previous year. War reportings are also the most shared posts on social media. Surely this growth is due to the project Gli Occhi della Guerra.

Amongst these successes, Gli Occhi della Guerra became a monthly supplement of the daily version: on the first Thursday of every month all the reportings through crowdfunding are published on il Giornale. Readers of the print newspaper may thus in turn also become contributors. The monthly supplement of the print newspaper shows the possibility of an effective integration between a printed and digital format.

Considering the current global editorial crisis, Gli Occhi della Guerra provides work to reporters who otherwise would not have any possibility to express their skills.

Thanks to this project ilGiornale.it managed to revive live reportings and created a new sustainable business model based on a reacher involvement of the readers.



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