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Monday, November 3, 2008
 

An Unfunded Service

The New York Times and ProPublica want a $1 million Knight News Challenge grant to create an online repository for documents related to news stories.

I couldn't restrain myself from pointing out that this site performs a rather similar function without external financing. I go out and get documents myself about 90 percent of the time, funding costs out of my own pocket at about the same percentage. The remaining 10 percent are either donated by sources or funded by freelance employers.

I can't imagine why someone would need $1 million to simply publish source documents, especially since both the NYT and ProPublica already operate their own Web sites, which are eminently suited to the task.

While it's great to see the mainstream media finally coming around to the idea of providing primary source material to readers, I am not the only one out here who has been doing it for free, for years.

A seven-figure grant would, in my opinion, be much better spent providing litigation support to independent journalists working through the Freedom of Information Act than giving free money to for-profit media companies in order to subsidize something they're already able to do.

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BOOKS

"...smart, granular analysis..."

ISIS: The State of Terror
"Jessica Stern and J.M. Berger's new book, "ISIS," should be required reading for every politician and policymaker... Their smart, granular analysis is a bracing antidote to both facile dismissals and wild exaggerations... a nuanced and readable account of the ideological and organizational origins of the group." -- Washington Post

More on ISIS: The State of Terror

"...a timely warning..."

Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam:
"At a time when some politicians and pundits blur the line between Islam and terrorism, Berger, who knows this subject far better than the demagogues, sharply cautions against vilifying Muslim Americans. ... It is a timely warning from an expert who has not lost his perspective." -- New York Times

More on Jihad Joe

ABOUT

INTELWIRE is a web site edited by J.M. Berger. a researcher, analyst and consultant covering extremism, with a special focus on extremist activities in the U.S. and extremist use of social media. He is a non-resident fellow with the Brookings Institution, Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World, and author of the critically acclaimed Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam, the only definitive history of the U.S. jihadist movement, and co-author of ISIS: The State of Terror with Jessica Stern.

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