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For Truth’s Sake, Can Blockchain Save Journalism?


A quick search on “the problem of journalism today” returns results that speak to issues of balance and bias, trust in the press, and, of course, the unabating and pervasive problem of “fake news.” An article published in The Washington Post reads, “The crisis in local journalism has become a crisis of democracy,” and other sources ponder, “Does journalism have a future?

The answer could lie in blockchain, the technology that is usually reserved for circles discussing cryptocurrency or supply chain integrity. But applying blockchain technology to journalism may very well generate the results that the public is demanding in terms of content integrity and a decentralized publishing platform.

What Is Blockchain?

Blockchain can be an elusive technology for the average person to understand. A great--and very simple--example of what blockchain technology does is offered by The New York Times, with the author of the article asking you to look at a coin dancing on the screen in front of you. Now, note that this coin--which is being displayed on your screen and therefore cannot be touched or held by you--is a crypto coin. The coin, unlike a real coin, doesn’t have an actual physical presence that you can hold. But, like a real coin, it does represent value. Every movement that the coin makes, and the movement of every other coin like it, is being constantly recorded and updated in a shared ledger. The name of this ledger is ...blockchain!

If you’re a person who benefits from more specific, technical details, then a more complex definition of blockchain, providing by Blockgeeks, is:

A time-stamped series of immutable records of data that is managed by a cluster of computers not owned by any single entity. Each of these blocks of data...is secured and bound to each other using cryptographic principles.

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