Do you know anybody else training young journalists to write more than short blog posts?
As some readers already know, in addition to running this newspaper, I’m the editorial director of the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism, which raises money and produces critical reporting in collaboration with the Dig and other outlets.
Thanks to foundation grants and donations from generous individuals, I have been able to spend less time on the fundraising side of BINJ these past few years and more time working with journalists to cover everything from prison and parole to the arts. It’s been fulfilling as an editor, still it’s important that none of us take this unprecedented flow of critical local reporting for granted. That includes me, and so I offer this letter as a sobering reminder of the lack of funding in this sector and as a plea for you all to help keep up the momentum.
After more than six years, BINJ has become a bastion of integrity and a trusted resource for everyone from the dozens of journalists who we regularly work with, to the sources who approach us because large commercial outlets ignore them, to thousands of people who read and share our stories. Though it saddens me to consider this region without BINJ and its impact, I ask that you do just that while thinking about whether you should back our work.
- What if we didn’t apply pressure to the state’s broken prison network? Our articles have revealed truly awful trends and damning incidents. Would another outlet have stepped up to the plate?
- What if BINJ wasn’t supporting some of the only longform arts reporting around? Do you know anybody else training young journalists to write more than short blog posts about new releases?
- And what if we didn’t start digging into the millions of dollars wasted on COVID contractors while people in the commonwealth have suffered through the pandemic?
Regarding that last one, few others in the Greater Boston media seem interested in exposing such contracts. Sort of like how they didn’t pay much attention to police violence before it became trendy to do so.
Thanks to BINJ, a lot of issues that the others have slept on for years are acknowledged in multiple Mass outlets, via serious journalism. For us, the hard reporting never stops. But the only way for us to keep this grand experiment in community media chugging along is with your continued support.
So please consider a donation to BINJ today at givetobinj.org. And remember that all individual donations up to $1,000 are being matched dollar-for-dollar to a total of $10,000 overall by the Institute for Nonprofit News’ NewsMatch program and the Miami Foundation.
CHRIS FARAONE, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF