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Comments by YACCS
Thursday, November 16, 2006

They need help

Building Progressive Infrastructure in NJ (We need your help)

In a perfect world, truth would be free. You could turn on your TV or open your newspaper and the truth of whatever issue being discussed would leap out at you. You'd have in-depth reporting that is honest about any ideological leanings or personal biases from the reporter. The most important issues would be covered first and foremost and most often.

In case you didn't realize it - the world isn't perfect. The news that you pay for is too often shallow, directed at some other market, or simply infected with personal or ideological biases to the point where it is useless. You pay for the newspaper. You pay for cable TV. You pay and pay and pay and you have absolutely no say in what they do.

Except at Blue Jersey. Our front-pagers devote a lot of time and effort to bring you news and opinions that are fresh, honest, and timely. If you don't agree with them, you can say so. You can even take the time to write a diary that proves them wrong, if you want.

In it's short year of existence, Blue Jersey has transformed into an active community of over 1000 registered users and 100,000 page views per month. We helped raise nearly $10,000 for our Congressional candidates this year and brought you original podcast interviews of Senator Bob Menendez, Congressmen Rob Andrews, Steve Rothman, Frank Pallone, Rush Holt, DFA Chairman Jim Dean, several state legislators and others. We caught Tom Kean Jr's campaign astroturfing on our site, generated tons of media coverage and put them on the defensive.

Earlier this month we learned that Blue Jersey will be awarded the 2007 Lieutenant Laurel Hester Prize for Citizen Courage "for being a national model in how a blog can become an unstoppable engine to move society toward equality for all."

Steven Goldstein, chair of Garden State Equality, explained:
Blue Jersey played a leading role in fighting on behalf of Lt. Hester, Lily McBeth and most recently, "Cher," partnering with Garden State Equality to make their stories known in every home in New Jersey. In each case, justice ultimately prevailed.
State and national press have taken notice of what we're doing - including the Associated Press, New York Times, ABC7, MSNBC, Star Ledger, The Record, Trenton Times, Montclair Times, The Beacon, and others. Political insiders and elected officials read us on a regular basis. Congressman Rothman has said that "Blue Jersey is an extremely valuable resource for all those who care about a progressive view of local, state, and national issues. Its New Jersey perspective and edge make it even more important and fun to read."

And all of this has come to you for no cost. In a perfect world, it would continue like that forever.

But it isn't a perfect world.

We aren't going to require people to pay for access to this site - we aren't the New York Times, after all. Our entire point in doing this is to put the truth in the minds of as many people as possible and then let them decide how to use it. You can't do that if you charge admission. But we do need money to pay the bills around here. If Blue Jersey is to continue growing, we need to ensure that it's properly funded. If you agree that we're performing an important service, we need your support. Everyone (rightly) contributes to campaigns which ultimately end and leave little infrastructure for the future. But if you believe in building the permanent progressive infrastructure in New Jersey, we need your support. Like NPR which relies on its listeners to keep going, Blue Jersey depends on you - our community.

It's very simple. If you like what we are doing; then show us by helping us keep doing it - give us a little bit of that folding money in your wallet or handbag, write a diary, and leave a few comments. If you don't like what we are doing; then give us lots of money and maybe we'll sell out and change what we are doing (we won't really, but we will take your money, tell you that we are selling out, and thank you for it!).

What does your money buy, if you send it? Besides some other exciting projects we'll be announcing soon, it buys time. Our writers' time. One thing we hardly ever mention to you is the enormous committment of time this blog requires of its writer/editors.

This eases the strain on some very good people, who work hard to bring this blog to you, and to engage with you in it every day.

If 30 of you each give $100, we can reach our goal of $3,000. We don't have any sappy gifts like NPR, but your gift will be appreciated. We promise to put it to good use and to keep doing what we do best - bringing you political news and opinion about topics important to New Jersey with a side-helping of snark.

The local bloggers are even more strapped than the national bloggers in terms of needing and getting help. Blue Jersey played a fairly large role in the last election, not getting nearly the notice the Connecticut bloggers or Virginia bloggers did.

But because we don't have a financial infastructure, they have to come begging to whomever they can. They want to expand their operation and without a lot of people coming through, it won't happen. I sent along $50, and especially if you live in NJ or NY or Pennsylvania, you should consider sending them something.

I don't often come to you with other blog fundraising requests, because that's part of what we do with the money we get. We may joke about soccer jerseys, but a fair amount of money goes to other bloggers when they need help. But this is an exception.

I'm tired of this. We should be able to apply for grants and not have to constantly come to the readers for help, but we do. Blue Jersey wants to grow, and given the state of politics in my former stomping ground, independent voices are sorely needed.

posted by Steve @ 11:50:00 AM

11:50:00 AM

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