Kickstarter: You did it. Now we’ll do it.
This project successfully raised its funding goal!
Our huge nationwide Kickstarter push ended yesterday and it wrapped up in joyous fashion. After weeks of talking with supporters, critics, friends, fellow journalists, activists and listeners, we raised roughly $20,600.
We also brought in roughly another $10,000 from donors who chose not to give through Kickstarter. In a single month, our effort to scrutinize America’s age of mass incarceration brought in more than thirty thousand dollars in direct, grassroots support.
We learned some cool things along the way. We learned, for example, that our colleagues in newsrooms and media organizations around the US had our backs.
From Transom.org to NPR to Mountain Lake PBS to Adirondack Almanack to The Moth to PRX to Capital Pressroom to the Vermont Journalism Trust, people in our biz gave and spread the word and gave us moral support when our energy flagged.
It was gratifying, and kind of beautiful that people in our hard-pressed industry stretched and gave and helped.
We also learned that people in our audience — both at home in northern New York and around the country — care about fact-based, probing journalism.
In an era when the Washington Post and Boston Globe are selling for fire sale prices, we found 300 people willing to back exactly the kind of reporting that is growing harder and harder to do.
Finally, we were reminded that, as public radio journalists, we bear a trust that is as close to sacred as anything can be in our trade.
When people crack their wallets and give directly, there is an equally direct link — a social contract, if you will — between the journalist and the audience.
The moral, ethical and professional stakes are higher. So over the next six months or so, Prison Time Media Project is going to live up to that contract.
We’re going to spend your dollars carefully but also ambitiously, chasing not jut the headlines, not just the melodrama, but also the deeper, more integrated, more meaningful story.
How did America come to be the society that locks up more people than any other nation in human history? What did it do for and to our communities putting tens of millions of people behind bars? What are the alternatives?
As we pivot to ask those questions, know that we’re working for you with a deep sense of gratitude.
Brian Mann, Lead Producer, Prison Time Media Project
Natasha Haverty, co-producer, Prison Time Media Project