What is Votermedia?

4 minutes
Students at the University of British Columbia explain their Votermedia (= voter funded media = VFM) demo implementation, which rewarded bloggers for informing students about their student union, elections and other issues. See also the “Experiments at UBC” sections in these two papers.


[We’ve shortened the name from “voter funded media (VFM)” to “votermedia” — reasons here.]

Taylor Lukacin – Blogger, AMS Confidential:

[Votermedia] is a great way for unaccredited media such as blogs to get funding for the work that they do, and it’s also a really great chance to build community with different readerships and different audiences…

Kai Green – Blogger, AMS Confidential:

“[Votermedia] – what is it?” is actually a question I always have trouble answering. It’s basically a way for blogs to tell how well they’re doing interacting with the student body, and in covering the issues at hand. So you enter the competition as a blog, and then people vote on you based on how well you’re doing. And sometimes there are monetary rewards for that. [Insert: UBC AMS media funding ballot]

Alex Lougheed – AMS VP Academic 2008-2009; Blogger, UBC Insiders:

So, what [votermedia] is, it’s an innovative incentive structure to encourage independent media to develop and to flourish and to cover events in their local communities.

Justin McElroy – Coordinating Editor, The Ubyssey: 

[Votermedia] is simply a way for students and voters wherever they are, to directly say to the people producing the information and the news, what they like and what they don’t like. …you have [votermedia], that’s a real way where people know, of the stuff that they’re putting out there, whether it’s important or not.

Taylor Lukacin – Blogger, AMS Confidential: 

I think there’s a really big opportunity within [votermedia] to reach out to your average UBC student … the main goal of AMS Confidential is to engage the average student and make it, the AMS, seem really approachable, really easy to understand.

Justin McElroy – Coordinating Editor, The Ubyssey: 

…[Voter media] create a UBC community that is talking about everything that’s happening on campus, and the amazing things that students are doing all over the place. And the more that students are talking and discussing how do we make this campus and this experience better for everyone, the better off that we’ll be and the better off that [voter media] will be.

Kai Green – Blogger, AMS Confidential: 

…it’s a great, it’s a useful tool on any campus, just to have multiple sources of student-focused media.

Neal Yonson – Blogger, UBC Insiders: 

… because all this competition really encourages good information and diversity of viewpoints on whatever we’re covering, and in this case it’s student society elections. So it keeps us busy, and keeps us definitely motivated and competitive. …so it’s very helpful to students on campus that there’s a new way to make your opinion heard and to try to bring about change. [Insert: Photo by Gerald Deo – AMS Elections All-Candidates Forum, 2009-01-29]

Alex Lougheed – AMS VP Academic 2008-2009; Blogger, UBC Insiders: 

One of the great things about [votermedia] is that it’s self-regulatory. It’s a very free market approach to solving a lot of the problems with media today.

Professor Fred Cutler – Political Science, UBC 

… I was keen to hear about it, and fascinated really because, in a way, you have to think of the history of democracy as one of experiments, and so all the things we take for granted now were untested experiments at one point. And [votermedia] to me seemed like something that had at least a shot at becoming one of those things that we take for granted in a little while…

Matthew Naylor – AMS Votermedia Committee: 

[Votermedia’s] probably… [Votermedia’s] the thing that’s going to change the world.


  • Music: Funkorama by Kevin MacLeod
  • Videography and Video Editing: Irfaan Hafeez. Shot: April-June 2010; Released: December 2010
  • Videography and Pre-Production: Mark Latham.