The Goods About Bad News

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Good and Bad News About News
by Dave Lindorff
A new poll from the Pew organization has good news for online newspapers like this one, but bad news too.

The good news is that for the first time in the history of polling, a majority of Americans are saying they get most of their information online, instead of from TV, radio and print sources. That's good because most of the latter sources are massively controlled by large corporations which are distorting, filtering and (as we saw recently with the whole media's refusal to identify as American the helicopters which hunted down and individually slaughtered nine young boys in Afghanistan, chosing instead the Pentagon's euphemistic term "NATO" helicopters), outright censoring the news.

The bad news is that many of the online sources people go to are themselves corporate-owned, or else are propaganda outlets for one view or another that, unlike our publication, make no pretense of having real journalistic standards of factual accuracy or fairness of presentation of the facts.

The other bad news is that only 15 percent of those polled say they are willing to pay to support those web-based news sites that they rely upon for their information. Three percent said they "didn't know" if they'd pay, and 82% said they'd "go somewhere else" if they had to pay.

Of course, ThisCantBeHappening! doesn't make anyone pay to read us. But we do ask that those of you who do think we are providing them with important information they can't get elsewhere, or who recognize that when they read us on Truthout or Counterpunch or Common Dreams or other aggregator sites, we aren't getting any revenue for that, and someone has to help finance our original journalistic work, to make the effort to contribute to us.

Think of it as the honor system if you wish, like those unstaffed farm stands out in the country where you just drive up, pick up the veggies you want, weigh them yourself and leave the money in a jar. Or alternatively take the self-interested view that if you want this kind of thing to continue, you need to help insure its success by contributing.

It does take time and money to do what we do, and to be candid, we are not getting the support from you, our readers, that we need to make this model work. Some of you, yes. Most of you, no.

Why not? It can't be that you can't come up with even $5 a year to support our work.

So please, contribute what you can to support not just the alternative journalism we are trying to do, but the other online news sites that you have come to depend on to give you the honest straight dope on what's going down.


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