The purpose of NFTs is diversifying, extending beyond art and gaming into news, fact-finding, and informative industries. NFTs are proving to be a method of factual, cultural, and historical archiving at a time when media outlets are coming under fire for pushing propaganda and untruths.

Image of 3 Ukrainian refugees in winter clothing: two women, one man. Translation reads: 24.02.22 Life has come to a halt. All of our dreams aspirations everything were lost in a moment. The sounds of sirens have filled the towns of Ukraine. Misfortune.
Image from Vault by CNN and Superchief, courtesy of Twitter.

CNN has released several collections from which consumers can purchase NFTs marking historical events. In June, Vault by CNN and independent artist-run gallery Superchief Gallery dropped an exclusive NFT collection of portraits and interviews with Ukrainian citizens documenting wartime memories and events in real time. The launch was more than a historical record: Superchief announced that they would donate all profits made from the ‘War Notes’ collection to humanitarian efforts in Ukraine. Those who purchased tokens not only own a piece of history; they aided efforts to help Ukrainian citizens directly.

The South China Morning Post will release a thematic drop of photojournalism NFTs in July. HK25 Moments will highlight impactful events in Hong Kong from the last 25 years, separated into five timelines. The Post explored various metaverse-like themes and projects for a several years until one finally took off: their NFTs of their coverage of the 1997 handover to China sold out in five hours, raising HK$2 million. The ‘1997 Premium Series’ contained the Post’s collection of South China’s most historical events from that year. Both projects are part of the newspaper’s growing NFT project, called ARTIFACTs.

Time president Keith Grossman has spent the past year building up the publisher and media brand’s NFT presence. The brand currently accepts 33 cryptocurrencies for its digital subscriptions, and more than 10,000 TIMEPiece NFTs have dropped since late 2021, generating a profit of $10 million and another $600,000 in charitable donations. These TIMEPieces are collectible Web 3 tokens that readers can purchase and own, meaning they own a piece of the publisher’s content, series, and collection of work as part of the Time community, made up of other collectors, owners, artists and designers.

NFTs continue to make waves across industries: in gaming, in media, in business and even in health. News and media brands are harnessing NFTs to satisfy the demand for truth and facts, offering a unique opportunity to own historical cultural records while manifesting unique communities around the collections at the same time. Could consumers one day rely on historical NFTs for truth and information?

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