Jurnid, a publishing platform inspired by a Knight Foundation challenge, offers journalists the chance to set a paywall on their work while also providing a mentoring community between journalists and professionals.
Created by website designer Andrew Quarrie, who has strong ties to the Miami journalistic community, Jurnid is intended as a platform for students and professionals to showcase their talents and build an audience.
"My goal was to create something that would allow journalists to create their own paywalls," Quarrie told Journalism.co.uk, "and to have a social content network where students can come in and build their own career path."
"I had a client that tuned me into one of the Knight Foundation challenges," he said, "about building something that will involve community and push journalism forward while also being mobile ready."
Once signed up, writers or photojournalists can publish their articles on Jurnid for free, or pay for a pro account and create individual paywalls for their articles or monthly subscriptions for all their paid content, priced at their own discretion.
Compared to other platforms "this is a lower cost of entry", said Quarrie. "It's very geared towards empowering them to do what they do, to go out and be journalists and not have to worry about the technology side and the heavy costs to do with running a website on their own.
"Where the trends are going nowadays with paywalls and they can definitely run a more efficient paywall on their own if they can get paid work from the bigger publishing houses."
Jurnid also offers a mentoring platform, whereby professional journalists can give feedback to students, or "j-schoolers", on the articles they have published on the site. Professional journalists can list themselves in a directory of mentors and choose to accept requests to support student users.
"Once they have access, there's a private area where they can comment or send notes directly to these students and the students can go back and forth and communicate with resources and advice from the journalists," he said.
Quarrie also believes the 'causes' section of the site will prove popular among readers and journalists. In this section journalists are able to affiliate their stories with specific causes to draw in audiences associated with those topics and use their articles to promote an issue they feel is important.
"Causes have very passionate followers so in bringing in the causes you're also bringing in audiences that these journalists probably would never have had exposure to," said Quarrie. "So it's a win-win for us to have the causes coming in. It's very difficult to separate journalism from the issues. It's about life, about real life, about people, it's about issues that are affecting people's lives daily."
The site is currently in private beta, with access only granted to those who request an invitation, but a mobile app is in the pipeline and numbers are growing.
"From our sign ups so far it's almost an equal amount of j-schoolers and professionals," said Quarrie, explaining how students could encourage friends and family members to subscribe to their work while studying.
"As they go through journalism school and become pros they already have a base and portfolio there," he said. "I'm excited about the j-schoolers because they're more open to embracing new things and they can run with it faster."
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