Fresco News Raises $1.2M For Crowdsourced Journalism

Fresco News has raised $1.2 million in seed funding.

I first wrote about the startup back in June, when founder and CEO John Meyer (pictured above) explained that the company was working an app where users could both browse breaking news content and also accept assignments to contribute photos and videos to professional news organizations.

After all, local newspapers and or broadcasts may not have the resources to send a reporter to every event, particularly when they need to reach a remote location quickly, for example if there’s a fire. So instead, they could create an assignment and alert any nearby users that they’re looking for photos from the fire — contributors receive compensation and credit.

Meyer said that for the past few months, Fresco has been expanding its newsroom tools while bringing more of those assignment capabilities into the revamped iPhone app which launched earlier this month. The company says that news organizations already using its tools include The Associated Press, Media General and Calkins Media, as well as “dozens” of smaller news organizations.

Investors in the seed funding include CNN co-founder Reese Schonfeld, MediaBistro founder Laurel Touby, former Yahoo executive Ross Levinsohn, former NewsCorp/AOL exec Jonathan Miller, Science Inc. founder Michael Jones, Fresco Capital, 1517 Fund, Social Starts and Wavemaker Partners.

Next steps include bringing more newsrooms into the system — Meyer said there’s already a significant waitlist.