The New York Times is preparing to develop a proof of concept for journalism on the blockchain, according to reports emerging today. The development could be significant for the wider publishing sector.
Journalism on the Blockchain
The Times is America’s second-largest newspaper, and one of the most prestigious publishing brands in the country. The newspaper subsequently listed a job posting on its site this week. The message read that it was looking for someone to help develop a blockchain pilot for the use case.
The job post plans a 12-month period for research and development, specifying the company is looking for a “forward-looking leader.”
Data can be published to the blockchain as a transaction. In fact, already stored on public blockchains are numerous examples of content.
The New York Times plan appears to eye a platform for facilitating writing and storage of news in the blockchain environment. This would then deliver a number of benefits for publishers and readers alike.
For publishers, blockchain technology is a more efficient, secure way for them to record information. In addition, the technology allows for permanent storage at negligible cost, helping to create an immutable record of news stories published in its name.
Similarly for readers, digital access to stories on a blockchain creates an indexable database of New York Times articles. This can ensure journalism on the blockchain creates a permanent repository of NYT content.
Tackling Interface Between Media, Blockchain Technology
The project is far from the first to tackle the interface between media and blockchain technology. One notable example, for instance, includes Civil, the media blockchain platform backed by the development team at ConsenSys.
Civil is powered by tokens, similar to bitcoin, which allow users to access content on the blockchain. Using the same technology that powers cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, the NYT platform will aim to incorporate the physical text from news stories within the blockchain environment. Thus ensuring that the information is permanently and publicly stored.
The job posting seeks a leader with an “established track record in real-world application of new technologies” and a “mixed skill set with some experience in at least three of: journalism, product, design, software development, hardware engineering, user research.