One Month to Raise Money for Independent Journalism – Walking the Walk

The stage is set. We’ve quietly raised close to $400 at Spot.Us to hire a journalist who will fact-check political advertisements for 10 weeks preceding the SF election. But we need a lot more and now it’s time to start ringing bells and whistles.

If we can raise another $2,100 by the end of August, the residents
of San Francisco will have collectively hired an independent journalist
to fact-check the political advertisements that will inevitably be hurled
in their direction. If we don’t reach out goal, the $400 will
go back to the original donors. No harm, true – but nothing gained.

And I play for keeps. And this pitch, to have a reporter fact-check
the banner and TV advertisements is perfect for Spot.Us. So I’m
drawing a line in the sand to see “who’s coming with me.” (yes, I put down $50).

It’s hard to argue against this pitch’s merit. Who doesn’t want
fact-checking for political advertising? If you have a moment’s of
hesitation, just watch this video with Josh Wilson from who is spearheading the project. (NOTE: the “pitch” is only going to get more refined – Josh Wilson and
I are currently honing in on what SF issues will need to be
fact-checked, details to come).

We have one month, JUST ONE MONTH
to make it happen. If you’ve been waiting on the sidelines, now is the
time to jump in and add to the pot. Instead of complaining that we need
better media coverage of important issues – ensure it will happen!


  1. Your pledge is only enacted IF we reach the final goal. So you know it will be a meaningful donation or won’t happen at all.
  2. You will help voters make more informed decisions when they step into the voter’s booth.
  3. The money will go directly to a freelance journalist – Spot.Us won’t take a cut.
  4. The content will be licensed under Creative Commons, which means your own blog or organization can use the data too.

How you can help?

1. The best way (and probably the easiest) is to donate $10. Or
heck, if you think it’s worth more – go crazy and give $25. I’d easily
argue this pitch is worth that much. Based on the amount of readers for
the blog – if everyone put down just $10, we’d be well on our
way. Think of it this way. Instead of buying that last beer (which will
only make you suffer the next day anyways), donate $10 towards this
campaign. Then you can go to bed feeling good about yourself – knowing
you are helping to keep our democracy strong.

2. Spread the word. Go back to the video above and click that little “share” button, or visit ThePoint’s campaign
and do the same. Tell your friends on Facebook, your blog, your
community organization. If you know people at the League of Woman
Voters, a local political meetup, etc – bring them into the fold.

Spot.Us is NOT a for-profit. We stand to make no money off this – we
only aim to serve. So we need help reaching out to the organizations
and civic leaders that might benefit from this collaboration. In the
end that’s all Spot.Us represents: A meeting ground where communities
can distribute the cost of hiring a reporter who will “work for

I will spend the rest of my day sending out emails to local leaders.
If you know civic minded individuals in San Francisco, please share,
twitter, email, or just shout this call out: We need your help!
Together I know we can raise this money and for the first time ever we
will have a journalist who has no connection to advertising. That
reporter will work for nobody but the public and that’s who he/she will
serve first and foremost.

I’m looking forward to the possibilities.

4 Replies to “One Month to Raise Money for Independent Journalism – Walking the Walk”

  1. well, i Stumbled it, hth.

    sometimes i fantasize about what it would be like if the media was actually unbiased and really checked the facts for us, because it was their job. but, i’m a crazy dreamer what can i say?

  2. IMO you need a logo and a (short,timely) slogan; then bumperstickers, since it’s not enough to get the info, you’ll need an audience for it.

    Meanwhile, I’ll pledge a hundred bucks.

    “journalism that hits the spot”?


  3. I’ve been thinking of “That’s Spot Reporting” or “Spot Some Reporting”


    As for a donation: Anna you are too kind.

    Again: Donations are only taken IF we reach the final goal – so it’s not charity that will dispaer – it’s only enacted IF we reach the goal (ie: if the donation would make a difference). That’s specifically why I chose to organize this.


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