When Jane first invited you to become a founding member of Firedoglake, she made an analogy to NPR.
Last year, Craig Newmark of Craigslist said he thinks that by the year 2020, NPR will be a “dominant force” in media because of their membership model.
“I have a feeling that membership models and philanthropy models will be stronger than advertising-supported organizations, because people are willing to pay for trustworthy news,” he said.
That’s not quite right. Sure, like NPR, we aim to build financial stability over time and with it continue to do solid reporting. Like NPR, we hope to create a real community with our readers. And SWAG … We’ve got SWAG!
But in the last three days, an NPR executive got caught on film speaking the truth. Impolitely speaking the truth, but it was the truth. And rather than stand up for the truth of the statement, the ultimate target of the attack, Vivian Schiller, was forced out.
When faced with the choice of defending the truth or capitulating to fear, NPR capitulated.
Now, I’m grateful to the FDL community–from Jane to our readers–for supporting me in the past when I have spoken the truth a bit impolitely.
I’m even more grateful, though, for the courage that you give–and demand–of us. We talk with you directly in threads. We listen. We take your concerns seriously. And we know that if we ever hinted of capitulation in the face of fear, we’d hear about it!
That’s part of what membership in FDL is all about: holding us accountable, steeling our spines, giving us energy to take on the tough battles.
By asking you to become a member of FDL, we’re hoping to build the financial stability to keep doing what we’re doing. But we’re also looking to formalize the relationship in which you, our readers, ensure the integrity of what we do.
Become a founding member of FDL–and earn the right to kick our a$$ if we ever grow complacent.