Just got this by email.
Many thanks to all of you who responded to my recent message asking you to support the Twin Cities Daily Planet by making a membership contribution. We really need the support, and many of you responded generously.
But I received one response that really caught my attention:
"Would totally make a donation once you start paying your writers."
I replied immediately: “Actually, we have been paying our writers for years. We don’t pay for blogs and commentary pieces, but we do pay for assigned news stories and most reviews. You can find the details here: http://www.tcdailyplanet.net/contribute.”
And then I added this reminder: “If you feel like making a donation, you can visit our secure online donation page, or send a check (in any amount) to TCMA, 2600 E. Franklin #2, Minneapolis MN 55406.”
The reader was not impressed: "Guess I just don’t want to support a business model that relies primarily on unpaid/underpaid bloggers, whether it’s HuffPo or Patch or eHow.com or Daily Planet."
Here’s the gist of my reply: "Actually, our business model is quite different… “Those other publications give priority to stories that generate the most search engine traffic. Our editorial priorities are covering under-reported stories, and giving voice to under-served communities.”
Many of Huffington Post’s unpaid bloggers felt cheated when Ariana Huffington and her investors cashed out and got $315 million dollars. We can’t cash out because we don’t own the Daily Planet. The Twin Cities Media Alliance is a non-profit, and the Daily Planet belongs to the community. We get 95 percent of our revenue from foundation grants, memberships and individual gifts, and only 5 percent from advertising.”
"We operate on a shoestring budget, and all that money goes back into the community - to pay our writers, our editors, our support staff and our rent. The staff, including myself, contributes many unpaid hours, without benefits, because we believe in the work we are doing - our award-winning journalism, free citizen journalism classes, media skills workshops and public forums, where many hundreds of Twin Citizens from diverse backgrounds have learned how to be smarter producers and consumers of media.”
And if you now feel totally like making a donation, you can visit our secure online donation page, or send a check (in any amount) to TCMA, 2600 E. Franklin #2, Minneapolis MN 55406. A contribution of any size will make you a member of the Daily Planet - and entitle you to reduced ticket prices and advance notice of special Daily Planet events. Any new or increased donations will help us earn a $75,000 matching grant from the Challenge Fund for Journalism.
Executive Director, Twin Cities Media Alliance
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