John Fay is asking for voluntary subscribers to his excellent resource, Newshound. I imagine most of our readers are regular users of Newshound as John does an excellent job bringing to the public internet domain articles that would otherwise go unread or unnoticed. It’s an argument that resonates with us.He’s been getting up at about six every morning, seven days a week to put together a resource that were it produced privately and distributed only amongst MPs, politicians, PRs, business men/women and journalists would almost certainly have netted him a decent income for each of the eight or so years he’s been running it.
As it is, he has made his resource publicly available. He’s kept publications like the Irish News, Irish Times, and the Sunday Tribune in front of a global audience, after they all but disappeared from view overnight. And it is completely free to the user.
Don’t be fooled by the amount of advertising on the site. As I understand it from John, the income this brings in does little more than defray some of the site’s running costs.
Asking for donations is somewhat alien to our European culture. It makes us feel awkward, embarassed even. But it is also one way that ordinary people can make things happen that have nothing to do with government directives or policy initiatives. It is also a way that professionals who benefit from the likes of Newshound (and yes, Slugger) can put something back for what is given freely.
If you haven’t done so already, make a contribution to Newshound in terms of its value to you, and what you can afford. Otherwise, we may not be able to count on John’s early morning offices for much longer. And if you’ve anything left over, stick in our own donation button and help keep the craic going here at Slugger too.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty