Freedom of the Press Foundation Launches :: Crowdsourcing Funding for Transparency and Investigative Journalism

freedom_miniOnce upon a time, the media served as a watchdog on government and corporate interests on behalf of the public. The practiced investigative journalism, challenged those in power and at times were willing to put themselves at risk all in the name of the publics right to know. Media companies considered it a responsibility, it was an essential public service; in exchange for use of the public airwaves they supplied the information necessary to maintain a healthy democracy. Except in a few rare cases those days are gone.

In 2012 the media is more likely to work with those in power than to challenge them. They do not ask hard questions, do not investigate, they look the other way if a story is likely to be controversial or make enemies in the halls of power.

No longer a public service in any real sense, main stream media is now a for profit enterprise. Investigative journalism is expensive. Exposing wrongdoing by public officials is controversial, making enemies in government and, possibly, alienating viewers who support those officials isn't good for business. Exposing wrongdoing by potential advertisers is also tough to make a good business case for. Instead the media tend to focus on public interest stories, trivia, celebrity gossip and exploiting tragic events for all they are worth, even if it means making a bad situation worse. They maintain the illusion that they are still performing a public service by reading or republishing wire stories and press releases (sometimes without fact checking) and occasionally doing an 'expose' on someone else's government.

There are exceptions to the rule, but as a rule the main stream media no longer deliver a public service, they deliver infotainment for profit.

Enter the Freedom of the Press Foundation, whose purpose is to raise funds for organizations that deal in investigative journalism, government and corporate transparency and accountability.
The Freedom of the Press Foundation is dedicated to helping promote and fund aggressive, public-interest journalism focused on exposing mismanagement, corruption, and law-breaking in government. We accept tax-deductible donations to a variety of journalism organizations dedicated to government transparency and accountability.

The Freedom of the Press Foundation is built on the recognition that this kind of transparency journalism — from publishing the Pentagon Papers and exposing Watergate, to uncovering the NSA’s warrantless wiretapping program and CIA secret prisons — doesn’t just happen. It requires dogged work by journalists, and often, the courage of whistleblowers and others who work to ensure that the public actually learns what it has a right to know.

But in a changing economic and technological age, media organizations are increasingly susceptible to corporate or government pressure. This can lead to watered-down or compromised coverage, or worse: censorship...

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The eclectic board of directors includes

  • Daniel Ellsberg: Pentagon Papers whistleblower

  • Glenn Greenwald: blogger, journalist, author and lawyer

  • John Cusack: actor and activist

  • John Perry Barlow: Electronic Frontier Foundation co-founder

  • Josh Stearns: Journalism and Media Campaign Director at Free Press

  • Laura Poitras: Documentary Filmmaker

  • Rainey Reitman: Bradley Manning Support Network, Bill of Rights Defense Committee, Internet Defense League, Electronic Frontier Foundation,

  • Trevor Timm: Writer, Activist and Lawyer

  • Xeni Jardin: Co-Editor of Boing Boing


The money raised by the Freedom of the Press Foundation goes to support Wikileaks, the National Security Archive, MuckRock and the Uptake.

Find out more at pressfreedomfoundation.org.
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