I am privileged to work at NPQ, a nonprofit journalism site, in this moment of thrill and terror and mutation of the industry. Free press is, of course, a cornerstone of democracy, so the stakes are very high for all of us to find a model that works and that can include the deep investigative work designed to afflict the comfortable and inform those of us who consider the world our responsibility.
At NPQ, our mission is to support active and engaged democracy, so our beat is the social sector writ large. And the changes there are also heart-in-the-mouth rapid and profound.
So we try to keep up and keep you up to date with our newswires, which take the single stories that occur in Humboldt County, California, and Wilmington, North Carolina, and Newark, New Jersey . . . and knit them together with events in Toronto and New Delhi and Damascus, to determine the trends that you may be facing in your own communities over the next few years and the ideas that you may be able to borrow for your own community’s use.
It is fascinating work—made more so by the fact that some of you contribute newswires as members of NPQ’s cadre of lay journalists.
In any case, each of the newswires we contribute is fascinating in its own way, in that it takes an event and links it to others so that you can make some larger sense of it—and, perhaps more important—some use of it.
Yesterday, for instance, we published a newswire about Kim Klein’s stance on linking her politics to her religious beliefs (she believes in it). This, however, sits in the midst of a melee in the Catholic church in general, where the Vatican appears to have taken American women into receivership for their “misbehavior” or unwillingness to sit down and shut up, and where nuns are being given the clear message that they need to worry more about women’s errant sexual habits than about the grinding effects of increased poverty. And this sits next to an election season where we have been treated to any number of misogynistic legislative proposals relative to women’s reproductive rights, as, in my opinion, a kind of cultural distraction to the issues of an increasingly polarized economy.
The day before, we published a Newswire that talked about the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis and its efforts to democratize its donor base through an innovative giving program. This is part and parcel of the changes that are occurring in the way community foundations view their roles, and this evolution is linked to that of United Way and the charitable gift funds as the terrain of intermediates in individual giving shifts.
Each of these Newswires—and we do seven each day—costs NPQ somewhere around $100 to write and publish. So here is our request to you .
For $100 (or more or less) you will be buying a stake in a thread of common information and analysis that is read by thousands of committed activists each day in small and large communities around the country and the world.
NPQ needs you . . . really!