What does it take to build ethical journalism using blockchain? Matthew Iles and the team at Civil set out to solve this complex problem to bring back ownership to the journalists creating the news. With the clutter of 'fake news' and 'news with bias' they also decided it was time to bring trust and transparency back to the newsroom. Their launch was filled with great victories and setbacks, but they have pushed forward to change the game in modern day news. Now they are helping to grown independent newsrooms around the world all while allowing journalist to capture more value they create, in a community that prioritizes ethics in journalism above all else.
In the episode we also discuss: Digital marketing agencies, Navigation success and failure, building a platform based business, building the right team, media and journalism, blockchain, cryptocurrency, ethical journalism, and more.
Recommended Reading: The Hard Things about Hard Things
About Matthew Iles
Matthew studied journalism at Duke University before embarking on an entrepreneurial career in digital marketing and innovative business modeling. He long imagined it possible to harness both the wildly explosive power of an open discourse platform along with the financial and behavioral incentives of a global cooperative, and first wrote about the concept behind Civil in November 2016.
Beyond advocating for sustainable journalism, Matthew also believes deeply in evolutionary organizational methods over traditional command-and-control hierarchies. At Civil, Matthew and the team practice what he originally coined Synchronicity — a cascading, distributed leadership model predicated on vast common knowledge, continuous realignment and a deep appreciation for everyone's personal self-identity. He owes much of his career success to his wife and prior entrepreneurial partner Katie Iles. They live in Brooklyn with their dog Emma.
When not working on Civil, Matthew enjoys reading science fiction, cooking and playing board games with Katie, and exploring New York City's and the Hudson Valley's best restaurants and bars.
Currently, Civil counts 18 newsrooms among its ranks with a total readership near 10MM people, and more than 50 additional newsrooms are preparing to join for our February launch. The Civil Foundation is charged with community-building, and their ambitious goal is 1,000 small to midsize newsrooms onboard worldwide by 2020.
Civil sits at the intersection of two major trends: 1) decentralized economies powered by blockchain, and 2) quality journalism and civil discourse in an era of unprecedented division. Both are volatile and face adversaries who wish to hamper their growth and sustainability. Both are vital to a more open, trustworthy and transformative society tomorrow and beyond.