Info Gluttony

What it means to be a Patron

Posted in media, politics by echan on October 28, 2009

Now, I’m all for these various things: (1) Investigative journalism (2) into the Bay Bridge (3) brought to you by McSweeney’s, and I’ll probably make my $4.00 donation sometime later today to support this endeavor.  I’m also heartened to see the cost of this undertaking (by experienced journalists) quantified at $10,000 (which is about the same price as a small- to medium-sized motion* at a big law firm).  However, a small part of me worries about this becoming the model for non-profit-based journalism going forward, where the only stories that get funded are the ones that appeal to the general public.  For instance, if I only have $50 to donate per year, this means that I’d only donate to 10 or so stories.  While things like the Bay Bridge might grab my money, it makes me wonder if stories about prison violence or the prolonged detention of illegal immigrants would get the light of day, because they may be less compelling.  Under our current dying system, I feel that the popular stories subsidize other areas that need a watchdog too, even if there’s less public interest in them.

*A big motion at a big law firm can hit 7 figures easily.

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