Funding journalism and building support for independent journalism

By: Cirien Saadeh, PhD., Executive Director

Hello UpTake supporters –

It’s been an amazing week for our organization and we’re grateful for you. I want to talk about the stretch goal we launched last week and why it’s so important we invest in training and paying freelance journalists.

First, a bit of housecleaning, we had originally announced that we had made our original goal of $4,000 on Wednesday, but there was an unfortunate accounting error (I’m always learning how to do this work better) and we did not actually meet our $4,000 goal until early Sunday.

Because of your generosity, we can afford to make some absolutely crucial fixes to our website’s back-end operations and technology. You’ve shown faith in our organization, our mission, and our leadership and we appreciate it. Thank you.

I joined The UpTake as an intern ten years ago. I was days into the work, when Mike McIntee, our former Executive Director, sent me to cover a press conference at the Minnesota State Capitol.  A few months later The UpTake gave me my first professional job as a journalist, an experience and opportunity that shaped my life and inspired my work as a journalist.

My vision for The UpTake is inspired by that same experience. An organization, staffed by paid reporters and trained volunteers, who work together to fill an absolutely crucial space within the Twin Cities journalism world, bringing truth to power and deconstructing systems of oppression and power. I’m heard from so many of you who have a similar vision.

In order to launch a freelance journalism program, we need dollars; dollars we can use to hire and train reporters. Grant making organizations rarely provide general operating dollars to make journalism sustainable. And for us to truly sustain our activities, we need a team of paid reporters that are supported by our communities. We could probably survive off a team of volunteer reporters, but it’s not the right thing to do. We believe that journalism has value and that reporters deserve to be paid for the work that they do. $2,500 will not cover everything, but it will give us the chance to get started and that will make all the difference.

Additionally, for those of you who may be interested in these paid reporting gigs, applications and position descriptions will be released in September. Dates for our re-launched training classes will be announced at the same time.

$5, $10, $20 goes a long way, so give today and know that your donation will go a long way towards helping us thrive.

With gratitude,

Cirien Saadeh

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