A study released Wednesday by Pew Research Center found 658 journalism projects launched on the Kickstarter platform since 2009, raising a total of $6.3 million in the US and several other countries.
The researchers found the number steadily growing over the past few years—hitting 173 projects raising $1.7 million in the first nine months of 2015.
Although journalism projects have been smaller than other Kickstarter categories from music, theater and film to technology and games, it has provided some momentum to a troubled sector.
“The growing activity here is about more than just dollars and cents or prize-winning reporting,” the report said.
“In today’s evolving digital era, it represents a new, niche segment of nontraditional journalism driven in large part by public interest and motivation.
“It is bringing voice and visibility to efforts that would likely otherwise go unnoticed or unfunded, adding yet another way for the public to engage in creating, funding and disseminating journalism and adding one more option to the arsenal of revenue sources that the industry is desperately seeking to build up.”
Pew said some of the funding has gone to known media entities such as the investigative organization ProPublica and the culture-oriented Boston Review.
While the United States accounted for two-thirds of the funding, there were also foreign-based countries that touched 64 countries and territories in all seven continents, including Tonga, Iraq, Cuba and the Palestinian Territories.