This holiday, why not give the gift of Journalism 2.0?

As the year winds down, I want to highlight two projects that I’ve followed closely that I think are worth your support. Amid the turmoil facing the news business, the real discussion should be focused on next steps, innovations, and how to move forward. Here are two projects that I think are all about finding positive solutions.

The first is Spot.Us, the community-funded journalism start-up created by David Cohn and funded through the Knight Foundation’s News Challenge grant program. Let me share an email from David explaining how you can get involved with Spot.Us right now:

If you want to come along for the ride – it is as simple as registering for the site. Take the Spot.Us “15 second challenge” – Can you register for the site in under 15 seconds?

Register Here:

(also acceptable subscribing to the Spot.Us blog:

Those who do register will get updates in a new style starting in January. These will include info on specific pitches and news about Spot.Us as an organization that has every intention of expanding to a region near you.

You will become my partner in spreading the word about “community funded reporting.” This isn’t just about joining Spot.Us and making one nonprofit a success – it’s about an idea; that the public can come together and commission amazing works of journalism. Together we can make a statement that the media should be democratized – and remain professional at the same time. That journalism can be participatory but we won’t lose the quality that keeps our fourth estate a strong and vital part of our democracy.

If you agree with me: That we can do this, that we can steer the craft of journalism through these troubled waters so on the other end it becomes both stronger and more inclusive, then register and in the New Year we will work together to…

1. Fund local journalism here in the Bay Area like these pitches

2. Build Spot.Us into an organization that can spread to other regions in the country and support more journalism there.

The second project is The Public Press, an emerging non-profit news organization aimed at serving San Francisco. I became an advisor the project after meeting founder Michael Stoll. The Public Press is gathering momentum, but can use your help. Here’s a note from Mark Smolowitz, another Public Press advisor:

As 2008 draws to a close, we encourage you to help spread the word about this joint fundraising effort and ask you consider making your own personal donation at a level that is comfortable for you at this time. Moving forward, you can always go directly to our online giving portal, which accommodates one-time gifts as well as recurring

Certainly, a gift at any level will help us continue to build a strong support network in this critical time for journalism and democracy.


5 Responses

  1. Done! Here it is:My birthday wish: Help journalism

  2. Thanks Chris – you rock!!Also: I totally agree – Public-Press is an awesome organization. I hope the two of us together figure something out on how to provide good coverage at the local level here in SF.Rock on.

  3. *jaw drops open*I was about to post the EXACT. SAME. THING.I’m not kidding.I will still do it, naturally, but great minds, huh? 🙂

  4. just got some funds from the Knight Foundation. I thought it was interesting that the site only has 17,000 visitors a day, but they get $600,000 from private donations. Scott Lewis must be doing something right.

  5. Suzanne: Great minds, indeed. Happy New Year all!

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