Yesterday, Marcy Wheeler made the front page of the New York Times with her scoop about about Khalid Sheik Mohammed being waterboarded 183 times in one month. Her liveblogging of the Libby trial was one of the seminal moments in online journalism, and she’s consistently demonstrated the investigative skills that show what bloggers and those using online tools are uniquely capable of doing.
I’ve been trying for months to get funding for Marcy so she can do what she does full time. I’ve been turned down by every major donor and donor representative I’ve asked. They’d rather create their own "astroturf" blogs.
Every time donors decide that there is value in what bloggers do, there is a class of donor "gatekeeper" who siphon off the money and create projects they control that get no traffic except what bloggers generate by linking to them. They act as "consultants," advising organizations to their own benefit with all the attendant conflicts of interest. It’s "fake blogging," it’s not real. But it happens over and over again. That’s just how the system works, and I’ll be writing more about it.
It appears that the only way that Marcy and others are going to be supported to do investigative work past the minimal amount advertising can provide is if it comes directly from readers.
So we’re launching a campaign today. We want to raise $150,000 to support Marcy, another investigative blogger to work with her, and a researcher to help them. All the money donated on this page will go directly to those efforts:
Marcy Wheeler. Often copied, never duplicated.
Update: Wow — $1500 in a little over a half hour. You guys are amazing.
Update II: $2500 and rising…
Update III: $4000