While the goal of Newsfunders is to empower journalists to serve communities, it is the communities who must lead this conversation, and the needs of communities that must define the efforts of news producers.
For this reason, Newsfunders is NOT for journalists. It’s for the publics that journalists would presume to serve.
It’s critical to recruit non-journalists as leaders and primary participants in the process of identifying need and funding practice.
Reform has to come from OUTSIDE of the Fourth Estate. Otherwise it’s just another journalism-insider operation talking in circles inside the industry.
That’s too easy, and the public is too easily left out of that conversation.
Ultimately, in the journalism world, money talks, and communities are the ones that no one is listening to.
Independent news media are emerging everywhere, as idealistic journalists work against all odds to push forward their public-service mission at a critical time for our democracy.
Yet the mass-media morass and influence of big money are only getting deeper.
Everyday citizens can turn this situation around, flip the script, and claim power over our broken media system that sells to us rather than serves our actual information needs.
1) You get the journalism you pay for. And who’s paying for the journalism in your life? Exactly.
2) You can afford it. It doesn’t have to be a lot money — $20 is plenty, less than a movie date and a couple drinks.
3) You have the power. It’s about supporting independent reporting, sure — we need our watchdogs of the public interest out on the street, ranging widely and licking their chops. But it’s also about making your collective presence felt, and claiming power over media.
4) You are not alone. Trust in journalism is hitting rock bottom. Everyone knows journalism is defanged, declawed, prettied-up like a show dog and kept on a short corporate leash. But what if everyone were inclined to do something about it? How much you give is less important than how many of you give.
Being a newsfunder is NOT the same as giving to a crowdfunding campaign. By donating to nonprofit news purposefully, en masse, you are wielding collective economic power, with the goal of influencing news organizations so that they can more effectively serve the public interest.
Why give? Because you live in a democracy, not a marketplace, and we’re all in this together.