Forbes becomes the first major media brand to experiment with publishing content using blockchain, with a partnership with Civil, a blockchain journalism network.
With the partnership, Civil allows Forbes to experiment with and better understand how publishing content on the blockchain can increase trust with audiences. It also allows Forbes to assess emerging opportunities that can potentially open new forms of audience engagement and drive additional revenue streams.
"We are relentlessly focused on rapid experimentation and implementation so that we can determine what’s in the best interest of our audience and what is next for our industry," said Salah Zalatimo, Senior Vice President of Product & Technology at Forbes. "Forbes and Civil believe passionately in the mission of journalism, and together we can provide audiences with a level of unprecedented transparency around our content. We’ll also be able to expand the reach of our writers and identify new revenue channels over time."
"Civil’s mission is to power sustainable journalism throughout the world, and Forbes’ commitment to regularly publish content on our platform is a major milestone for our approach," said Civil CEO Matthew Iles. "We look forward to working with Forbes as we connect with a broader audience interested in new, more direct ways to discover, share and support ethical journalism."
The experiments includes Forbes in publishing metadata from selected Forbes articles to the blockchain through Civil. Using blockchain technology, the information would be permanently achieved and cannot be changed by any third party.
The metadata here includes all of the information of an article that isn’t the article itself. Basically, it includes the information the article has, like authors, publications, time of publishing, and so on.
If the experiment goes well as expected, Forbes plans to commit to share all of its articles' metadata to Civil’s decentralized network.
Forbes in publishing its articles' metadata allows it to establish the authors' identities and credibility, as well as the expert participating sources. When articles' have been included inside the blockchain and published accordance to Civil's journalistic values, they will have a Civil badge' appearing next to them on Forbes.com
To make this possible, Civil integrates its publishing tools with Forbes' content managing system, known as 'Bertie'. With the integration, Bertie can publish articles directly to the blockchain to enable proven authorship of articles, and to better control content rights, as well as permanent achieving.
Furthermore, the partnership also allows Forbes to have a presence on the Civil Registry, the community-curated whitelist of newsrooms that run on the Civil protocol.
Teaming up with Civil, is Forbes effort to gain more trust with its readers.
While this would make Forbes "decentralized", some people and journalists are skeptical of whether publishing metadata to Civil’s blockchain can deliver greater journalistic integrity.