Future of decentralized journalism Special episode with Kristina Lucrezia Corn
In this podcast, Alex Shkor speaks with Kristina Lucrezia Cornèr.
Kristina Lucrezia is the Editor-in-Chief of Cointelegraph. M.A. in political science and classical philology she is a passionate communicator promoting innovations, translating them into simple languages and helping visionaries to be heard.

In this special, Alex Shkor talks to Kristina Lucrezia Cornèr, Editor-in-Chief of Cointelegraph and M.A. in political science and classical philology, about decentralized journalism in future.
Kristina Lucrezia Cornèr
Episode highlights
• Watch the interview special episode to learn about why we should build a strong community.

• Where the line is between individual and community interests.

• How to create more trustworthy content.
Episode transcript
Alex: Hi, Kristina.

Kristina: Hi, Alex, how do you do?

Alex: Oh, good. How are you?

Kristina: Oh, great. Thank you very much. It's so, it's such a pleasure to be here.

Alex: Yeah. We…

Kristina: That's my social distancing. But

Alex: Yeah, that's right. We're not the best example of social distancing. But

Kristina: Okay. It was filmed before the pandemic, right?

Alex: Yeah. It was filmed before the pandemic. For sure. Like, oh after. Yeah.

Yeah, they cannot prove right? This is where we need Blockchain, if we film it and put an on chain with a timestamp you have proof.

Kristina: Interesting! So, what will happen with Blockchain after the pandemic, in your opinion?

Alex: Hmm. It seems, such a question, so we should yeah, let's start from this one, like the pandemic is a hot topic.

So, I think actually, pandemic is one of the greatest accelerators of Blockchain in Web3 in decentralization. Because it showed the fragility of regular institutions, of centralized institutions, and efficiency of these institutions, especially political ones.

I noted you have a background in political science.

Kristina: Oh, yes. Wow. Yes, yes. That's an interesting topic for me, because I previously graduated in theater studies. And then at some point, I decided that politics is the culmination of theater in our world.

Alex: This is so true, so true, actually, yeah. I totally agree. Actually, I also wanted to go to theater studies, but decided to go to computer science, like it was my…

Kristina: Well, I guess, there are some similar points within these two spheres, what do you think?

Alex: I think, like, it's exactly opposite. And that's actually why I wanted to go there but did choose to study professionally, computer sciences, but like, have my kind of, you know, like hobby has been an actor like, but in real life.

So, you can, you can just entertain people, like make fun, like and just like, do performance, like on a daily basis when you talk to other people and still be like, in the industry.

Kristina: But I still think there are some similar points between theater, like more than contemporary theater when you interact with the audience, where the audience becomes the actor itself, with the current developments of Web3 and creator economy and how we actually try to involve the community to be a real actor, a real decision maker within the space.

Alex: Yeah. Actually, I never thought about this. Like, it's really, from this perspective, you definitely have more experience in this thing, but…

Kristina: Well, you definitely have more experience in Web3, yeah.

Alex: And here we are, to combine our experiences, mix it together and produce something beautiful, right? Yeah, something for the future of Web3.

Kristina: So, when did you realize the importance of the community?

Alex: Actually, like fully realized just recently, because we've been building like, for a long time, in stealth mode. And what is cool about stealth mode, it allows you to pivot like, do anything you want. Like any time, change plan, and your team can adjust really fast, especially if they like you used to doing this.

But when you go public and you have community, you're not allowed anymore to do this, like, you know, like, really fast in crazy moves. What I love to do, you know.

Kristina: This is so true. Community became an important actor, even in the investment deals. Like I've been talking with different investors, and venture capitalists, and when they are choosing projects to invest in, community is one of the factors that they actually look into.

Alex: Exactly! So, we did realize this. And this is actually why I say, in all the AMA sessions and interviews now, we want to be a community driven company. So, we built the tech. So now we need to bring it to the market.

And actually, it's not our decision anymore. It's certainly the community, how it has to be introduced to the market. And like and we're building, like we are building creator economy protocol. It's not for us, it's for creators, and should be governed by the creators as well.

And our communities, basically, should be like, most of these committee members, they're creators, maybe all of them, maybe all of us are creators, you know.

Kristina: Interesting. Well, this made me think that it's actually quite magical that finally we think about the community as such an important actor. Because in the end, we are living here in the Western world, especially as an individualistic approach for everything. Yeah. And finally, we realized the importance of the community. Why do you think it happened?

Alex: You know, I can tell you my personal story, and I think what contributed a lot to my realization, of course, is my involvement in political science. Like not most political but social movements in Belarus. And I'm a member of the Coordinating Council of Belarus, and I'm representative for digital transformation.

So, but how I got involved actually because of art, and I went to a Blockchain workshop one year and a half ago in London with Maria Kolesnikova who is one of the leaders of Belarussian revolution, evolution, whatever you call it. And, and we like became friends.

Kristina: Words matter. Yeah. Which is it, evolution or revolution?

Alex: It's evolution. It should be, it should be. Like I'm for, I'm, I'm vouching for evolution. And so the revolutions always destroy something but I think the best transition is when people come up with some consensus in some, in a joint venture, you know.

Kristina: And actually, the latent etymology means that it's a reversal. So basically, you go the opposite way. That's not always the case. So, evolution is going forward.

Alex: I feel it'll be very insightful. I'm already picking up some new things. So yeah. But and this is actually how I got to this thing, like and I realized how powerful communities are, especially as they're united, around like, common vision, common goal and fair election, very simple one, very simple vision. And like and, like and how powerful it can become, and that you cannot tell this community what to do, you need to listen to what they want to do.

Like this is like, it's, it just blows my mind. And that's basically why I think I started thinking more about this. And I started to switch the whole paradigm of governance structures to be like community first and then electable members second. So basically, to give a power to the community.

Kristina: Can you even be possible in Belarus right now, like this is such an important topic and such a sad one, for me as a journalist to see how journalism is prosecuted in Belarus. How the freedom of speech is limited. So, what exactly can Blockchain do for them, especially in these very sad locations in the world.

Alex: It can, it can still give freedom, and they can give freedoms. Not like it's, it's, you can build structures, build governance structures, if we build infrastructure, like basically, Web3 can be infrastructure for journalism, right? And it can be independent from any government and can be fully decentralized.

And this is actually what you can also do with journalism. Actually this is what I want to discuss with you, how journalism will be in the future of Web3, how it will be changed, and also how journalists can contribute to this change. Because you know, it's not the passive player, it's the active player. It's basically like if we consider journalism as a player.

Kristina: It's a very interesting question. And I also think that it's important to think about how much time will it take, because well, journalism has to adapt every, every year to all the challenges that are encircling us in terms of the fact that people change their way of digesting information in terms of how different centralized players are interacting with decentralized players, the way the community becomes an important actor and sometimes it can be a good thing but sometimes it also actually creates additional, additional problems so do you, how much time will it take for Blockchain to build the decentralized journalism?

Alex: Whether it just depends on one thing, how close we'll be working with each other in the next year. You know, like we will have a plan how to on board well created economy to Web3 and actually I will be presenting this plan on Web Summit, like if we talk about this and it will be not just promoted, it will be not promoting our project because it's just part of this plan like and it will be much bigger.

So we, and journalism is just another industry creator, gonna make sure like it's, it's also creators and like, you should know, the Q&A Editor in Chief right, like in Cointelegraph. So, we basically work with creators, you're also a creator, you, you like I believe that like every creator industry is split by two kinds of things. Like you're either creating new things or revealing others.

And you need to combine knowledge, you need to be involved in things because otherwise you will be drifted to like, away from feeling what is actually.

Kristina: I guess a very important balance here is between competition and collaboration. So you mentioned that we need to collaborate, and this is in my opinion, what will push forward this industry, but sometimes we have, still the, the background of competition that still pushes us forward as well.

And this can be good, this can be bad in terms of journalism. I think that we are constantly adapting as I said, but sometimes the problem is reaching, even within this digital space where everything can be made online, reaching out to important players sometimes constitutes a difficult challenge. Yeah.

And here comes the community, whenever the community is an actor, an interaction between journalists who are creators and the community, who's also creator in, in some sense, but at the same time, the catalyst of all changes. And here, in my opinion, the very important synergy will come. And I don't see much convergence yet between creators and community as a whole, because we still perceive our way of creating content as coming from individuals rather than the community.

Alex: Yeah, but like, it will always be coming from individuals. You know, like you always, even if you're in the same group, like discussing some stuff in like, and output is collective. Still, it's like you deciding where to, when to speak.

Kristina: So where is the limit between an individual and the community?

Alex: I think they should not be limited. It's just like, you know, it's dynamic. It's like a balance in life. It's you, you're balancing. Sometimes you need to push through one way and another, but you just need to stay on the ground, and that's it. But you can stay with very different shapes, you know like, poses.

So it's, I think, there is not just a single point, this is a balance, it's just impossible to have it, like it's dynamic, like it's life. It's always changing.

Kristina: So how should we proceed? What do you think about the role of journalists in this re-(r)evolution?

Alex: Yeah, so I have a very specific vision for this. So, I believe that the future of journalism is a fully decentralized system based on peer review. So basically, anyone can be a journalist, and anyone can be an editor.

And, this is the kind of network of journalists and creators, they can, editors also, can be the reviewers of this content, and basically structures will be built on top of this, but basically underlying core infrastructure of this, of this greater economy. It's like readers and reviewers, both are creators.

And, and this is also like, in the core of our paradigm of what we're building, we believe that current economic model, it's kinda like a black hole in the center, there is capital, and everything gravitates to capital. And what we want to change, it's very simple. We want to put all human creators in the center, like, so everything gravitates to humans and creators, and not vice versa. And that's pretty much it.

So, it sounds very simple, but abstract, but this is what we just think about when we design the system, when we design centers, when we design the economy around it. And, and that's why like, when I say, like how I visually look, it's decentralized, and it's based on the creation, fully, fully decentralized creation of this content. That's it.

Kristina: I like this. Well, for me, it still sounds a little bit utopic, I think that the future of journalism is diversified. So, there definitely will be as we see already, social channels where influencers or creators are basically creating their own content and editing their own content, that will be mediums, like Medium or Reddit or whatever our point of attraction of, of content will be.

But there still will be important publications that proceed with their knowledge and expertise. And help this decentralized journalism, to still be on top of quality and ethics that has been created as a, as a fundamental basis for this part of, of our economy, of our culture.

Alex: I do agree, I just like, I agree, I totally agree. But I just don't think that it's kind of opposite to what I said.

I'm talking about infrastructure, but actually the face, and interface will be the same, like brands, like they will just have the underlying infrastructure change. But we'll still be able to have separate brands, separate media resources.

Kristina: I'm just trying to understand what draw the professional journalists will have in these new developments, because for the moment, whatever initiative we made, in terms of creating more of community based content, actually requires more work from our side, you know, because you have to filter, you have, you have to select, you still have to add it, you still have to, to provide guidance. And this is time and energy.

Alex: Yeah. So, but basically, you're asking, what is the priority number one, one of journalism in future Web3, right? Like, and I actually have my own answer for this, like, yeah, yeah. Okay.

So basically, when I think about any industry in the future, I try to detach the value it creates from money. Come up with some indicator of contribution towards the society without money, because money is just a proxy. It's artificial.

And it's not always close to the real value, actually sometimes, like very far away for me. And what I see is the role of journalism in general, is actually dissemination of knowledge. So, we just need to disseminate this knowledge in the most appealing, most like simple way to as many people as possible and to make sure that it's trust, personal knowledge that it's not fake. That's true. That's it.

So, this is like, basically, how I see the future of journalism, when it will be more, more close to the decentralized creator.

Kristina: Well, I guess this is a really important point as well, that journalism per se as it is now, is in painful need of more capital. Yeah. So, this is, in my opinion, a great solution for this big problem. Yeah.

And then in terms of development of this content, I'm actually convinced that big platforms with already existing, you know, reputation on the market, can actually transform themselves into, into a more decentralized way of thinking where being involved in community helps building more and more ways of creating good content.

Alex: What do you think will make them do this? Like, will we just need to show them that you can get much more capitals resisting system for what like,

Kristina: I guess a diversity of representations. So, within the community, within the community of decentralized DAOs of, of publications, I don't think that the future of journalism lies in, you know, trustful news that are coming directly from newsmakers.

As we saw in some blockchain business, it doesn't work like this, like you can't say that the only truth can be found only in our personal blog of our company, about our company. That's why we need journalists who are the third party who actually like peers, review the information and transform it into the language that they know the readers, or the viewers are, are using.

Alex: Exactly. You know, like what I think about when you talk about this, it's like, you cannot see the world from the eyes of other people. And you need them to look at you and tell what you're doing actually how they see it, because you actually look really limited. Especially if you as a person who's doing this here is the most limited person in terms of elaborating what they're doing, because you have a curse of knowledge, and it's huge. It's big.

And it's also very relevant to what I see as a relationship, actually men and women will never be able to see the world as well, and seizures. Even if I change the gender, it's like I did live my life as a man, like I will not be able to just see it.

Kristina: Seeing the world through the eyes of others is really important. It can be gender balance, but it also can be backgrounds, culture, languages, whatever. And the more the community is involved in the creation of content, the more vision we have for the better world.

Alex: That's, that's right. So actually, I think it's a good point to finish on.

Kristina: Thank you so much Alex. It was very insightful. Thank you. Enjoy Lisbon

Alex: You too, you too.