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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Bargain Basement: Only $10 a Month Gets You More & Better Reporting at NMI

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Most of you have probably heard about the continuing campaign to elect more and better Democrats. Now there's a new take on that approach -- the campaign to ensure more and better independent reporting, especially of the local, online variety. There's one of those struggles happening right here, right now, at the New Mexico Independent.

The important work and worker bees of NMI are supported primarily by the kind of nonprofit funding that's been dwindling as our economic woes have increased, along with donations from readers and some advertising. As their regular funding takes a nose dive, they'll have to find more outside sources of revenue to keep the operation going strong -- and they're in the process of doing just that.

Grassroots Power
Editor Gwyneth Doland and the other folks at NMI have officially launched their first grassroots fundraising campaign. If you want them to have the resources they need to continue to deliver journalism in the public interest, please sign up today to give a monthly donation of $10 -- or $15, $25 or $50 if you can afford it. Visit their online fundrasing page at http://newmexicoindependent.com/donate right now and be as generous as you can so NMI can continue -- and hopefully expand -- their reporting and investigative journalism. In order to adequately support its staff, NMI is particularly interested in the kind of stable funding that monthly contributions can provide.

You've probably noticed that reduced funding at NMI has already resulted in some changes. Will master live-blogger slash webcaster Matt Reichbach be back to provide on-the-scene, as-it-happens coverage as he did day and night during the last regular and special legislative sessions in Santa Fe? Only we can make it happen. Will Marjorie Childress regain the hours she's lost so she can continue to delve into the details of policy issues and dig down deep into stories that get little coverage in the traditional media? Only we can make it happen. Will NMI be capable of expanding and growing its staff and its coverage as we move further into an important election year? Only we can make it happen.

I know how hard it can be to convince readers that the long hours bloggers and online reporters spend -- researching, writing, editing, attending events, snagging interviews and everything else that goes along with the job -- are worth paying for. My own blog's "Donate" button sits idle much of the time. But if we want to ensure the continuing availability of the quality local news and opinion sources we rely on daily to inform us, entertain us and cause us to think and act, we must be willing to toss a few bucks into their fundraising buckets.

News We Can't Get Anywhere Else
I read NMI every day, and I don't want it to go away or shrink down to nothing -- I want it to grow and expand its staff and its coverage. I expressed my views on the value of NMI's reporting at the end of this year's regular legislative session and I think I'll reproduce those paragraphs here, in closing. So you'll think about what we have to lose and what we have to gain in New Mexico online reporting -- and buy what amounts to a low-cost subscription to NMI for a monthly fee of only $10 (or more).

As I sip my first cup of coffee after a good night's sleep, I'm checking the vital live blogging and Tweeting of the New Mexico Independent Roundhouse team and others who have endured a day and night of sometimes frenzied, sometimes dull, activity in the New Mexico House and Senate during the last hours of the 30-day session in Santa Fe. It ends at noon today. This is the kind of down and dirty, on-the-scene endurance-reporting that, for the most part, other "traditional" news sources have long abandoned in favor of lazily feeding us dribs and drabs of filtered and incomplete info meant only to amuse or titillate or serve a political agenda.

If you don't appreciate what the NMI Roundhouse team has been doing for a couple sessions now, you haven't been paying attention. They are creating a record of committee and floor action that's unparalleled in New Mexico. Yes, the new video and audio feeds provided by the House and Senate are incredibly helpful, but they aren't archived, so they don't constitute any kind of permanent record of what went on. With NMI's almost constant coverage -- including their marathon yesterday until about 4:00 AM -- we can reconstruct a lot of what goes down, whether it takes place during the day or in the wee, wee hours.

Just do it.

May 19, 2010 at 03:59 PM in Journalism, Media, Weblogs | Permalink

Comments

Aw, this is great. Thanks, Barb!

Posted by: Gwyneth Doland | May 19, 2010 4:50:23 PM

Thank you, Barb.

Posted by: Matt | May 19, 2010 5:30:55 PM

i hope people donate. it is like a subscription.

Posted by: mary ellen | May 19, 2010 8:34:18 PM

The economics of periodical publication have been increasingly troubled since at least the 1970s. We all complain about the "mainstream media." What is going on is that a new economic model needs to be developed, because the old one is just plain obsolete. This begins to move in that direction. I'm reluctant to dish out, but this really is crucial.

Posted by: Stuart Heady | May 20, 2010 8:06:23 AM

It's disturbing that some Democrats are giving money to Heath Haussamen's site instead of supporting NMI. Look at the list of pledge donors to Heath's site and you will see a majority of right wing people. Please consider the reason.

Posted by: westmesa | May 20, 2010 10:52:40 AM

I read all the local political blogs and they all fill a niche. I do like NMI best for reporting news and hope people help support it. We can't depend on the Journal or TV for good local news.

Posted by: Sean | May 20, 2010 12:44:55 PM