Why you should support a journalist
This isn't news.
The long-term, secular decline of newspapers has run headlong into the current recession and accelerated the loss of reporters. The Pew Research Center determined that about 5,900 journalism jobs went away in 2008, and by the end of this year, the job loss since 2001 could top 14,000, or one quarter of the pre-911 newspaper newsroom workforce.
Regardless of how you feel about newspapers, the evisceration of the fourth estate is a lamentable development. Our founding fathers knew well the value of independent oversight of our public and private institutions. That's why they enshrined freedom of the press in the constitution. As Thomas Jefferson said,
The basis of our governments being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.
So here is your chance to help support "the latter."
The Online News Assocaition, of which I am a board member, has launched its Support A Journalist campaign. With your contribution of as little as $10, this program will send journalists to our 2009 conference for networking and training in digital journalism.
It will also go towards the 2009 Challenge Fund for Journalism, a project of the Ford Foundation, Ethics & Excellence in Journalism Foundation, McCormick Foundation and John S. & James L. Knight Foundation. Your donation helps ONA better serve our membership by counting toward our fundraising goal during 2009, ONA’s 10th year. We must raise $90,000 from individual donors in tax-deductible contributions by Aug. 1.
Please help. Please support a journalist.