I know sometimes around here, it feels like perpetual “name your local NPR/PBS station” in terms of fund raising. And I also know that the “headliners” have been making their respective pitches on all the great stuff that has been “brought to you by” (as they used to say when network TV was not abysmal trash) FDL. And they are right – the sheer mountainous amount of stuff that our people got to first, threw everything including the kitchen sink at, and brought to you guys is truly mindboggling.
Why? How did that happen?
Because they cared enough to do it. Not because they get the big paycheck (because they don’t). Not because they have the ears and eyes of “the big guys” in the media and government who coyly whisper in their ears (electronic or otherwise). Not because they (choose appropriately) play golf, tennis, squash, racketball with, drink cocktails with, rub elbows (or some other bodily parts) with “the quote-unquote right people.”
Because for some crazy reason, we have people who get out there, get their hands dirty, elbows deep in the muck, to find out the real stuff, the viscera of whatever it is – the important stuff – and they really do “do it all for you.”
They do it because they wouldn’t do a half-assed job, or a kiss-ass job. They do it because they know it is important for the Pups to get it straight. And for that, we should appreciate the heck out of what they do because they truly are doing it for us, the greatest and the least.
But I’m not here to talk about what FDL is – you guys know that stuff already (and you’re taking out your check books and credit cards right now, right? And yes, I already did my civic duty with my credit card).
I’m here to tell you what FDL is NOT.
FDL is not an ego trip. It truly is a place where Jane et al. are very concerned that everyone has an opportunity to become a Citizen Journalist, do the very best job they can in terms of finding local (and not so local) stuff, writing it up and getting it out by putting it up on Seminal. Sometimes there are things that other people might not agree with; ideas that perhaps might not seem reasonable. But everyone has a shot. There are numerous examples on Seminal but my fav is Ed Teller, who has been our bird dog on all things Palinofsky and for the Alaskan Native Peoples. Ed was bringing us news from the North before any media in the Lower 48 was interested in Sarah Great and Small – and he ran the Ted Stevens Memorial Poetry Contest to prove it.
FDL is not the OK Corral or a free-for-all – this community has mods that care about quality, freedom of expression, and at the same time, protecting the small and the weak from “the crazy” and those with bombast and big teeth. We have mods on duty all…the…time. Live. As we speak. There are other sites that do not. The difference in the quality speaks for itself.
FDL is not a cesspool. No boob jobs, no Shakira’s hips, no “who cheated on Sandra Bullock this week,” nor examinations of how Karl Langerfeld feels about plus size women – none of that “non-news.” No non-nutritious junk, no fluff, no fillers. Every visit to FDL is a nutritious visit. FDL respects the time of the community members.
FDL is not “above” discussions of certain things. Unemployment, health insurance problems, pollution, death, starvation, war, other people’s rights, cooking, children’s books, school lunches, homelessness, food, farming, home economics, raising chickens and bees, for heaven’s sake. We’re a family and around the kitchen table (or the Lake), we talk about everything. Everyone’s fam; everyone’s concerns are legit. This is not Dickensian London.
So, are we all in? It doesn’t matter how much you give. Everyone’s a member here and even though we don’t have a monthly subscription or a membership fee, we still get full value … every…single…time.
As Aunt Toby (as you all know me) would say, “Wouldn’t you rather get your money’s worth?”