Today marks the beginning of our year-end fundraiser, a time when we humbly ask our readers to stand with independent media and help NationofChange continue our fearless journalism and grassroots activism efforts into 2018.
But first, I wanted to take a minute to talk about why independent media matters, and why your support is critical to the health of our democracy.
When you are done reading this article, please consider supporting NationofChange with your tax-deductible donation.
Media and democracy
The news media is important to our democracy. Here’s why.
Exposure to the news media causes Americans to take public stands on specific issues, join national policy conversations, and express themselves publicly – all key components of democratic politics – more often than they would otherwise.
There is no doubt that news media influences our democracy, but not all media outlets are created equal.
When it comes to news media, there are two types as far as we’re concerned: media that works for a profit, and media that works for the people.
6 enormous companies control 90% of U.S. media.
News media that works for a profit, also called corporate media or the mainstream media, is dominated by 6 enormous companies – Comcast, Viacom, CBS, and others – that control 90% of U.S. media.
These companies measure their success by their billion-dollar revenues. Their goal is to monetize your viewership, to profit from your attention by any means possible.
Their sense of right and wrong, of justice, is no match for their greed. If a certain issue or news story does not help to maximize their profits, it is ignored, buried, or outwardly contradicted.
They want to be everywhere you go for entertainment, and they spend millions to influence opinion and policy to make it happen.
NationofChange’s success is directly linked to how well we are serving the interests of our readers.
News media that works for the people is markedly different. NationofChange measures our success by how well we are serving the interests of our readers.
If we can expose corruption and injustice, then we are succeeding. If we can inform and educate the people, then we are succeeding.
If we can take action – from protesting Trump’s Muslim Ban to joining the Women and Climate Marches, from exposing voter suppression and the violence of white hate groups to showing what can be accomplished when we stand together against that hate – then we are succeeding.
NationofChange doesn’t need to worry about what will most effectively deliver readers to advertisers, because we have no advertisements.
We don’t consider censoring stories because they will negatively impact some company that we have an interest in, because we have no corporate sponsors or partnerships at all. We are beholden only to you.
But how much impact on public discourse can independent news media have with the Goliath corporate media dominating audiences? As it turns out, a lot more than most people thought.
The power of independent media
We’ve been saying for years that strengthening independent media outlets like NationofChange is the most effective way to secure a media system that works for democracy. Now we have science to back it up.
A five-year-long study published in Science, shows that even small independent news outlets can have a dramatic effect on the content of national conversation, increasing discussion of major national policy topics by as much as 62.7 percent of a day’s volume, distributed over the week.
If we want to foster a healthy democracy with robust conversations about national policy, we need to continue to support independent news outlets like NationofChange.
Consumers of independent media – like you – while fewer in number than their corporate media counterparts, are more eager to participate in national conversations and actions related to the issues they care about.
On top of this, trust in corporate news has gone down over the past few years while trust in independent media remains strong.
It’s no surprise. We don’t want to be delivered to advertisers, we don’t want to be fed lies to keep us docile. We want the truth, and we want action.
The implication of the Science study is simple: If we want to foster a healthy democracy with robust conversations about national policy, we need to continue to support independent news outlets like NationofChange.
“I think NationofChange is doing a great and badly needed job. This is what inspired me to support it.” –Noam Chomsky
We’ve looked at how news media is important to democracy, and why corporate media can never be on the people’s side, and that strengthening independent media is the best way to secure a media system that fosters a healthy democracy – but how do you strengthen independent media?
When it comes to NationofChange, the strength of our organization depends directly on the generous donations of readers like you.
Right now, we must raise $30,000 to cover basic operating expenses into the new year.
NationofChange’s independent journalism and boots-on-the-ground activism take a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. But supporting that hard work is easy.
Here’s what you can do to support NationofChange:
Make a one-time donation
The end of the year is the perfect time to make your last-minute tax-deductible donations to the organizations that matter most to you.
NationofChange is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity and your donation is 100% tax-deductible.
You can donate any amount to NationofChange and rest easy, knowing you helped strengthen independent media for 2018, but we have some special incentives for higher donations:
- With your donation of $100 or more, you will receive a classic NationofChange T-Shirt.
- With your donation of $250 or more, you will receive a classic T-Shirt and your choice of one of our incredible 2018 Peace Calendars (Posters for Peace & Justice or Our Unity Must Be Forged in the Fires of Solidarity).
- With your donation of $500 or more, you will receive a NationofChange T-Shirt, BOTH 2018 Peace Calendars (Posters for Peace & Justice and Our Unity Must Be Forged in the Fires of Solidarity), AND access to the brand new Weekend Edition for an entire year!
Become a Sustaining Member (and get the Weekend Edition)
When you create a monthly-recurring donation of any amount to NationofChange, you become what we call a Sustaining Member.
Sustaining Members are vital to the future of this organization.
Your monthly recurring donation allows us to more effectively budget our month’s expenses, and reduces our dependence on monthly fundraisers.
Sustaining Members enjoy some awesome benefits that include access to the exclusive Weekend Edition, which features curated content that Members see first.
We take the best news and views of the week and breaking progressive stories and combine them with inspiring quotes, important grassroots actions, thought-provoking media, and special gifts.
Plus, as a Sustaining Member, you no longer receive monthly fundraising emails.
But the real value of becoming a Sustaining Member comes from knowing that, for a few dollars every month, you are strengthening independent media and fostering a healthier democracy.
Becoming a Sustaining Member is easy. Just create a monthly-recurring donation on any of our donation pages and you will automatically be added to our Sustaining Member’s list and start receiving your exclusive Weekend Edition.
With your help, we can create a more compassionate, responsible, and value-driven world. We can restore democracy and do what Trump never could: Make America great again. Thank you.