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Lets talk about Foundation money, blogs, etc

athena1's picture

Is it a wild conspiracy theory to wonder about funding?

Lambert - I challenge you. Will you tell me and all of us how correntewire is funded? Are wealthy Foundations and NGOs giving you cash? I don't think there is, btw. But if so, spill the beans. And yeah, I know folks can get sued over just saying they can get sued.

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Submitted by lambert on

Here:

Corrente is completely supported by contributions from readers. Thank you!

Of course, I'm a reader.

Funny you should ask, though. I'm contemplating a fundraiser, and not to support my opulent lifestyle.

athena1's picture
Submitted by athena1 on

So, there are no Foundations or NGOs funding "us"? That you know of, Lambert? This is a conversation we can openly have here in a genuinely friendly way? Like, you're not pissed off at me for asking the question?
Coz I think it is an important question. I do. I think funding matters. Funding can and often is a tool of control. Call me crazycakes for stating the obvious, or whatever.

Around late june and early July I saw the idea floated that Greenwald sucks because he's "reader supported". "Advocacy journalism."

What do you make of that?

Submitted by lambert on

... I'm going to be starting a fundraiser soon, like the weekend, so it's a not un-useful conversation to have.

The only source of funding is what I put into it myself (which is personal income) and reader support. So far, I haven't started advertising again because Google kept putting ads for Thai ladies next to MsExPat's coverage of the Thailand rebellion, so that was stupid. I don't have any principled objection to advertising, but I'm not going to change what I write to optimize for it.

There is no foundation or grant money. I am thinking very very seriously of restarting Campaign Countdown for a modest monthly subscription fee; it's worth something for the quality, the originality, and the hours it takes. It was also a very hopeful series, because of all the activity that we don't see from national or Beltway sources.

I don't see Greenwald's funding model as being worse than any other and in fact it could be better. I suppose there's some danger of fans reinforcing an echo chamber, but that doesn't strike me as worse than being paid hirelings of the political class. I don't care about advocacy as long as the advocacy is disclosed (ie, unlike Jason Rosenbaum) and the writer doesn't make stuff up.

Bryan's picture
Submitted by Bryan on

You probably don't remember the "Oath of Poverty", Athena1. That was the reaction of left wing blogs in 2005 when people were claiming that all bloggers were being paid to write by people like George Soros. At that time it was a reaction to a discovery that the Department of Education was paying a commentator to say nice things about 'No Child Left Behind'.

The majority of the big blogs are financed by advertising and fund drives. A few blogs are connected to media corporations, but that association is clearly apparent.

The under the table payments and foundation support are really a feature of the rightwing blogs. There is no organized support for the left, and that weakens the effectiveness of the left's message. There is no leftwing analog to Wingnut Welfare.

All print media are reader supported. Some of that support is direct by subscription fees, but the advertising revenue is also dependent on the number of readers. With TV it is viewers that determine how much money a media company can make. It is a strange complaint to suggest that Glenn Greenwald is less creditable because he uses essentially the same revenue model as the New York Times.

athena1's picture
Submitted by athena1 on

There is no leftwing analog to Wingnut Welfare.

I'm not so sure of that. I think it's quite possible that some leftie blogs are majorly funded by Foundations and NGOs.

Anyway, I really think I'm about to join the 1%!! Like, for real! And I'll have healthcare again! But what will I do? If it happens, who will I be? I've identified with not just the 99%, but with the bottom 10% for most of my life. Lord knows I don't want my values to change. Single payer. Finnish education for kids. Norway-style "jail".

Submitted by lambert on

He meant left wing. The progressives are most definitely funded -- that's how, for example, Jason Rosenbaum managed to write a daily health care update at FDL through the health care battle without mentioning single payer once; he was funded IIRC by SEIU (readers will correct me).

That said, I'm not sure "left" means so much any more! Not to trash the people, the ideas, the programs, or the history, but to say that I think the geometry is off somehow. Politics is not a line, but a plane.

Submitted by lambert on

Technocrats replacing Democracy for example. But about "the left".... TINA is bound up with the two-dimensional left-right geometry*. There's a mismatch between party structures and political structures, I guess. See this from the massive back catalog on C. Northcote Parkinson.

NOTE * Cue inside baseball discussion of "first past the post" voting systems. OK, it's all broken. And?