"Even as the old 'That's the way it is' model of mass media is increasingly tested by the Web, there are interesting experiments under way that show how far-flung, yet important, issues like marine pollution can still be covered effectively. One surfaced today in a Science Times article by Lindsey Hoshaw, known on Twitter as @thegarbagegirl. The feature is an up-close examination of the Pacific Ocean's vast patch of plastic flotsam, reported with travel funds provided by readers of Spot.us.
This young online enterprise essentially aggregates 'pitches' by journalists for money to help pay the costs of reporting on issues that might not otherwise get coverage. There have been discussions about a trend toward 'cloud journalism' in which a community rich in mobile phones and Twitter accounts gives an overview of big events, but this is 'cloud financing' of journalism."