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Raw Investigative Fund

Dear Readers:

You can donate through PayPal with your credit card, echeck or PayPal account.
Please send checks to: Raw Story Media,
PO Box 21050, Washington, DC 20009
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As part of Raw Story’s reorganization, we will be creating a fully separate investigative news team to dig even deeper into those stories that require closer attention and longer focus.

Our overworked managing news editor, Larisa Alexandrovna, has also been our only investigative reporter and almost entirely her own team following very closely stories that are important to all of us.

Larisa will now focus on heading up a full investigative team that will operate with some autonomy from the day-to-day news management of the site. The investigative team will be able to branch out and cover more stories than ever before, and expand our access to the information that’s important to you.

An investigative news team is desperately needed in every news organization. While quick and up-to-the-minute news coverage is important, and we ourselves work tirelessly to provide it, other stories require much more focus and digging.  Sadly, most news outlets today are reducing—or altogether eliminating--their investigative work and focusing almost exclusively on the 24/7 news cycle. It’s easy to see why; Investigative reporting is incredibly expensive, with very little financial reward. 

But we want to do better.  To put it bluntly, we find the decline in American investigative reporting to be a serious and disturbing failure of the media. And we’re here to be part of the solution, not the problem.

This is where we need you guys, our readers, to help.  Raw Story’s readership has grown immensely in the last two years, and as a result, revenue has also improved.  Unfortunately, since the most expensive ads rotate through first, the increase in revenue is far from proportionate to the increase in readership.  Also, our click through rates are below industry standards which prevents us from serving premium ads. The money just doesn’t come as easily as the readers.

If we want to fight the tide and throw ourselves into more investigative reporting, we need to raise the funds to make an investigative news team possible and functional. If you agree with us that such work is much needed, then please help by making it possible.

Of course, this is not the sole purpose for the fund drive.  Raw Story is also in the process of an expensive server upgrade to speed load times for those of you with high-speed Internet, and hopefully even make the page accessible to the 30% of Americans with dial-up Internet.  Our main goal in the upgrade, however, is to simply stop the site crashes that became commonplace in recent weeks.

We are also still in the process of building a commenting system that will allow us to exercise the kind of control that certain users have insisted upon making necessary.  We have lost many decent readers and writers simply because these obnoxious trolls insist upon posting racist, abusive, and anti-semitic remarks that are certainly not welcomed by Raw Story, its editors or staff.  Unfortunately, this process has not been as speedy—or as cheap—as we initially believed.

Finally, Raw Story is desperately in need of a programming overhaul.  Far too many coding processes clutter our page, and slow your access to it.  If you’re an extremely capable programmer and have a lot of time to donate, please let us know.  If you’re not, but you are tired of slow access to Raw, an ad-free subscription or site donation will hopefully aid in paying for the technical work we rather desperately need at this point.

If you want to support Raw Story, and can afford to, there are several ways to do so.  The best way to support Raw is by making a donation. Donations of $50 or more will receive an ad-free account for one year. Alternatively, you can subscribe to an ad-free account for $3.95/month or $34.95/year. By doing so, you can rid yourself of those pesky ads on our front page and original stories, and help Raw provide better content at the same time.  You can also donate equipment, if you’re interested.

There are other ways, too.  The easiest way to support Raw Story is by supporting our advertisers.  If you’d like to donate equipment that you feel may help us out, please contact Toby Slingerland (publisher@rawstory.com) and let us know.   Or, if you own a business that you think can benefit, you can always purchase advertising on the site.

Raw Story is also desperately in need of a media relations manager, but are fully aware that we cannot afford such an expense.  We find ourselves often breaking stories, only to have that contribution—or worse yet, the entire story--overlooked in the mainstream media.  This prevents a lot of interested members of the public from ever even knowing we exist.  If you or someone you know is experienced in that area and may be able to donate some time, please contact us.  Your help in this area would be greatly appreciated.

We are also constantly searching for talented reporters to contribute to the site as freelancers.  We pay only a nominal fee, but if you’re interested, please send a resume, writing samples, and story pitches to Diane Sweet at diane@rawstory.com.

Thank you for your readership, and support these last few years.  Raw Story looks forward to improving the quality of the site and broadening the services we provide.

Who Donates What?

  • If you are a company and wish to help with equipment and/or software donations, please contact Toby Slingerland at publisher@rawstory.com. In particular, we will need additional laptops for our reporters to be able to leave their homes and go to the stories.
  • If you are a service provider and wish to donate services such as broadband/T1 lines, research subscriptions, phone cards, etc., please contact Toby Slingerland at publisher@rawstory.com.
  • If you are an individual, please see the FAQ below.How, What, And All of that Good

FAQ of Why, How, What, And All of that Good Stuff

What

RS Fundraiser – Investigative Fund

When

November 17 – December 1

How do I donate?

You may use the PayPal link below for credit card, debit card, and direct bank transactions. Just click on the PayPal link below and you will be directed to the donation page.

What if I don't want to use my credit card or PayPal?

You may use our mailing address, also listed below. Checks are non-refundable.

Is this tax deductible?

No, this is not tax deductible.

How much do you want/need to raise and what do you need it for?

We don't know what to ask for, but we know we need another full time investigative reporter, and several contracted stringers. We also need to pay travel expenses, research expenses, and other work related expenses. So we don’t have a figure, we are simply asking for help and whatever we end up with is what we will use.

I have no way of helping financially, is there something I can do?

We are always thankful for any help people are willing to provide and it matters just as much as a financial contribution. We always need help with PR and research materials. For this fundraiser, if you wish to help, you can do so by spreading the word and in general, by continuing to support our work.

How much should I donate?

Whatever you feel comfortable donating. $5 is fine, $20 is fine, whatever you feel you can afford is fine and we are most grateful.

What if I have additional questions?

If you have additional questions, please contact Diane at diane@rawstory.com

What is the mailing address?

Raw Story Media
PO Box 21050
Washington, DC 20009
 

You can donate with a credit card or your PayPal account by clicking the PayPal button.
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Accomplishments and Other Good Stuff

We thought we would take this opportunity to go through some of the things we have accomplished since our last fundraiser – for the site – early this year:

General
-Added a full-time congressional reporter who will be doing in-depth coverage of congressional races
-Upgraded equipment for editors and staff.
-Helped offset the cost of a new news wire service, Deutsche Presse Agentur.
-Added two more updating staff members during the day so that we have more exclusive reports and fresher coverage in the mornings and late evenings.
-Purchased credentials for reporters who needed them.
-Hired someone to manage operations (because we apparently did not do it well)

What we reported and in most cases scooped:

Build Up to Iran, A Few Examples:
-Chalabi’s involvement in Iran negotiations, or lack there of (http://www.rawstory.com/news/2006/Chalabi_0501.html)
-Iranian arms dealer tapped as man on the ground (Ghorbanifar)  (http://www.rawstory.com/news/2006/Cheney_has_tapped_Iranian_expatriate_arms_0420.html)
-US had outsourced Iran operations in Iran to a terrorist group (MEK) (http://www.rawstory.com/news/2006/US_outsourcing_special_operations_intelligence_gathering_0413.html)
-Intelligence officials say Cheney receiving suspect briefings (http://www.rawstory.com/news/2006/Intelligence_officials_doubt_Iran_uranium_claims_0818.html
-US military raise concern about possible strike on Iran
http://www.rawstory.com/news/2006/US_military_seen_ready_for_Iran_0511.html
-Spurious attempt to tie Iran and Iraq in a uranium plot
http://rawstory.com/news/2005/Backchannels_used_to_bypass_U.S._government_0111.html
-Pentagon moves to Second State Planning on Iran
http://www.rawstory.com/news/2006/Pentagon_moves_to_secondstage_planning_for_0921.html
-Intel officials doubt Iran-Congo uranium claim
http://www.rawstory.com/news/2006/Intelligence_officials_doubt_Iran_uranium_claims_0818.html

Human Rights, Civil Liberties, Election, A Few Examples:
-Shadow human rights report to accuse US of violating international law
http://www.rawstory.com/news/2006/Shadow_human_rights_report_to_accuse_0706.html
-Report: Treatment of US suspects at home mirrors military detainee treatment abroad
http://www.rawstory.com/news/2006/Report__0713.html
-UN Report: Moral indictment of US
http://www.rawstory.com/news/2006/UN_report_moral_indictment_of_US_0803.html
-Video shows Ghraib-like torture by sheriffs lead to man's death
http://www.rawstory.com/news/2006/Videotaped_death_of_US_inmate_at_0725.html
-Gagged librarians break silence on Patriot Act
http://www.rawstory.com/news/2006/Gagged_librarians_break_silence_on_Patriot_0531.html
-FBI Informant, is said to be provocateur http://www.rawstory.com/news/2006/FBI_confidential_informant_also_said_to_0608.html
-Florida candidate arrested while investigating voter fraud
http://www.rawstory.com/news/2006/Florida_House_candidate_to_face_litany_0612.html

Congress:
- House Democratic report indicating that New Orleans levees were still vulnerable to terror http://www.rawstory.com/news/2006/House_report_Dams_levees_at_risk_0831.html
-Senate Intelligence Committee’s pre-war inquiry into Iraq
http://www.rawstory.com/news/2006/Senate_Intelligence_Committee_Chairman_denies_access_0427.html
-Ohio Rep. Bob Ney provided a false report to Congress http://www.rawstory.com/news/2006/Court_filing_in_case_of_indicted_0421.html
-Senate hearings on John Bolton http://www.rawstory.com/news/2006/Confirmed_Senate_will_hold_hearings_on_0721.html
-Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) will be proposing his bill to legalize NSA wiretaps http://www.rawstory.com/news/2006/Specter_Bill_0829.html
- Acquired a subpoena to the president in the wiretap court case http://www.rawstory.com/news/2006/Raw_acquires_Bush_wiretap_subpoenaes_0829.html
- Boxer might campaign for Lamont before vote
http://www.rawstory.com/news/2006/Boxers_office_says_campaigning_for_Lamont_0809.html
-Conservative congressman with a vehement immigration position was considering a run for president (http://www.rawstory.com/news/2006/Senator_Tancredo_mulls_running_for_president_0825.html),

Other Examples:
-Continued coverage of Coulter plagiarism http://www.rawstory.com/news/2006/Paper_confirms_Coulter_plagiarism_0702.html
-Interview with Reagan lodestar Richard Viguerie http://www.rawstory.com/news/2006/Exclusive_Reagan_conservative_lashes_out_at_0728.html
Whistleblowers allege influence peddling by Cheney and other members of GOP
http://www.rawstory.com/news/2006/Whistleblowers_allege_influence_peddling_by_members_0329.html
-Our first filing from Africa (http://www.rawstory.com/news/2006/Can_football_save_South_Africa_from_0822.html
-Federal agency’s response to 9/11 ‘conspiracy theory’ (http://www.rawstory.com/news/2006/Federal_agency_releases_911_conspiracy_rebuttal_0901.html),

And there is much more.

Thank you,
Raw Story Staff

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