Friday, March 24, 2017

"The Internet is my religion," says cofounder of Brave New Films

Intensely personal 2011 speech from Brave New Films' Jim Gilliam (who was raised a conservative Christian evangelical) discussing how the Internet offered him salvation and literally saved his life.

Editorial cartoonist Tom Tomorrow

The chaining and corporatization of alternative weeklies can undermine alternative cartoonists like "Tom Tomorrow"/Dan Perkins.

A victory for bloggers access to courtrooms

In March 2012, a Massachusetts court ruled that bloggers deserve the same privileges in covering courts and trials as traditional media.

Can pay walls save newspapers?

No, said Arianna Huffington, as she testifies on "The Future of Journalism & Newspapers" before the U.S. Senate in May 2009 (at 59:02). (A former indy media student complained about Boston Globe's paywall around the Globe's editorial.)

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Crowd-funding/ pre-funding of journalism and documentaries

A fascinating experimented called, which lasted three years until it closed up shop in October 2016, pre-funded freelance writers and indy media by seeking donations from the public for specific articles or topics. The platform reportedly raised several million dollars in total for journalists. is "a funding platform for artists, designers, filmmakers, musicians, journalists, inventors, explorers..." A key aspect of Kickstarter and some other funding platforms is "All or Nothing funding."
On Kickstarter, a project must reach its funding goal before time runs out or no money changes hands. Why? It protects everyone involved. Creators aren’t expected to develop their project without necessary funds, and it allows anyone to test concepts without risk.
Here's a documentary movie project that I was a part of, which used Kickstarter successfully.

Before Kickstarter was launched, the Robert Greenwald documentary on war-profiteering (Iraq for Sale) was PRE-funded mostly by small donors -- an example of grassroots financing of a work that had real impact.

Media start-ups can be flukes . . .

. . . such as 

Students' historic papers focused on . . .

. . . The People's Friend / L'Ami du Peuple / Jean Paul Marat . . . Freedom's Journal . . . The Revolution . . . Woman's Journal . . . The Woman Rebel . . . Pacifica Radio . . . The Realist and one of its famous posters . . . Ramparts . . . Come Out! . . . Ms. magazine and Gloria Steinem's 1990 tell-all article about the problem of ad revenue: "Sex, Lies & Advertising"

Author Kurt Vonnegut said that Krassner's intent with "F**k Communism" poster was to show "how preposterous it was for so many people to be responding to both words with such cockamamie Pavlovian fear and alarm." (H/t Isabella)