Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on Reddit Tell A Friend Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites
Exclusive to OpEdNews:
OpEdNews Op Eds

Funding and coordinating progressive news

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Don Smith       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   4 comments

Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags
Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 2   Well Said 1   Inspiring 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H4 6/25/09

Become a Fan
  (22 fans)
- Advertisement -

Progressives need to build a strong, respected alternative news media that can overcome the intransigence and biases of mainstream media outlets.   

As Richmond Shreve pointed out in his recent OpEdNews article, the sort of non-professional stories, op-eds, links, and diaries that typically appear on OpEdNews are valuable but insufficient. Ultimately,  progressives also need professional journalists trained to do research, fact-checking, and writing. Of course, investigative reporting takes lots of time and skills, and the journalists need to earn a living.

Two things stand in the way establishing a strong progressive news media:   1. Funding and  2. Coordination.

Funding

- Advertisement -

Shreve's article sketched some options for fee-based funding. Another funding option is taxation.  Progressives believe in public schools, public transportation, federal conservation programs, national health care, and other sorts of tax-funded, joint endeavors. So, it makes sense that progressives should be open to tax-funded news.   The BBC in Great Britain is a model for such a system. (Perhaps someone more familiar with the BBC can comment on how it works.)

It is essential that structures and laws be put in place that protect such a tax-funded news media from political interference.

By the way, tax-funded news could work both nationally and locally.

- Advertisement -

A disadvantage of using taxes to fund news is that progressives wouldn't then control it!  That is, like other progressives, I want a news source that tilts to the left.  However, I value truth above partisanship, and I don't want too much of a leftward bias.

The alternatives to taxes are, so far, unreliable or untested:  ads, donations, subscriptions, and reliance on rich benefactors.  See this article for further thoughts on this topic.

Coordination

While much ink (and many electrons) have been spent considering how to fund journalism in the Internet age, very little thought and effort have been directed, I believe, at the second issue: how to coordinate progressive news and messaging.

There already are numerous progressive news sites and blogs, as well as hundreds of progressive organizations, all competing with each other for donations, readers, and influence.  Unless the Left can coordinate their  activities, their influence and viability will be greatly reduced.  Coordination will ease the problem of funding, will increase the coherence of the messaging, and will increase market share.

Daily I get email from a dozen or so progressive groups, but already I've had to withdraw from some groups: I can't handle the volume and can't endure the constant requests for money.    Locally, there's no standard online progressive news source; instead, there are multiple competing sites, none very successful.

- Advertisement -

Consider, in contrast, how successful conservatives have been -- until recently, at least -- at coordinating the diverse factions of the conservative movement: libertarians, neoconservatives, (often corrupt) capitalists, and the Religious Right. These factions often disagree vehemently on issues -- for example, libertarians can't stand the necons and the Religious Right. Nonetheless, when it comes to communicating with the public, conservatives stay on message ("small government", "no new taxes", "pro life", "fight terrorism", "strong family", "stop government waste"). Furthermore, Republicans' party discipline in Congress is impressive: often they vote unanimously, even nowadays when their movement is so damaged. 

The conservative movement has Fox News and right-wing AM talk radio, such as with Rush Limbaugh.  

Alas, the influence of conservative ideas greatly outweighs the reasonableness of those ideas.  The Left needs to fight back, so that the public and lawmakers can hear our messages and also so that we can talk coherently to each other.

Next Page  1  |  2

 

- Advertisement -

Must Read 2   Well Said 1   Inspiring 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com

DFA organizer, Democratic Precinct Committee Officer, writer, and programmer. My op-ed pieces have appeared in the Seattle Times, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and elsewhere. See http://WALiberals.org and http://TruthSite.org for my writing, my (more...)
 

Don Smith Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

The myth that the Dems are as bad as the Repugs

Why Abortion Isn't Murder

Image essay about blood soaked NRA

Government is like a computer's operating system: a response to libertarians

Failure to prosecute: why Obama is having trouble passing health care reform

Undividing the Left: Hard-core and Soft-core progressives