ST. PAUL, Minn.--(The UpTake has been selected by the prestigious new Freedom of Press Foundation as one of the first four independent organizations to receive crowd-funding help for journalism that brings transparency to government and demands accountability of those in power. The UpTake joins WikiLeaks, MuckRock News and the National Security Archive as one of the first four organizations to be helped in raising funds by the new foundation through Jan. 31, 2013.)--
“We are very proud to be acknowledged for our work”
Co-founded by Daniel Ellsberg, the whistle-blower who gave the “Pentagon Papers” to the New York Times in 1971, the Freedom of Press Foundation is headed by a Who’s Who of press freedom pioneers, including civil liberties journalist Glenn Greenwald, actor John Cusack, and Internet information leaders ranging from John Perry Barlow of the Electronic Frontier Foundation to documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras and Xeni Jardin, co-founder and editor of Boing Boing.
“We are interested in supporting organizations that bring more transparency to government, hold power to account and stand for the public’s right to know,” says Josh Stearns, a member of the board of directors of the Freedom of the Press Foundation. “The UpTake has shown, again and again, that they are willing to do the long, hard, grueling and often tedious work required to do those things. What’s more, they have shown they also are willing to train others to do them.”
“We are very proud to be acknowledged for our work,” said Jason Barnett, The UpTake Executive Director and co-founder. “We’ve been doing on-the-ground transparency coverage since Day One, and we have the potential to do more, to expand to other regions and focus on the work of transparency and civic engagement you need for citizens to understand what is happening. Exposing the truth and revealing the information being held by the powerful are the core values of journalism.”
“We want to create a new base of support for non-profit journalism organizations so they don’t have to always be trying to get a million small grants,” said Stearns. “We hope to help them become more resilient and more stable by becoming a sort of one-stop shopping center for average citizens who want to come forward and support innovative journalists who are willing to take risks.”
“The ways in which people consume news now have changed,” said Barnett. “They pick and choose from a buffet of sources, so it is hard to develop a relationship with a consistent audience and develop a reliable fund-raising stream. Getting recognition from the Freedom of the Press Foundation will be incredibly important to our plans for the future, to grow and to expand and continue to fight for transparency and accountability. People have to get used to journalism being part of their philanthropy plans.”
About The UpTake
Founded in 2007, The UpTake gained national attention for its hard-nosed street coverage of the protests at the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul, its inside-the-walls coverage of the long recount in the U.S. Senate election contest between Republican incumbent Norm Coleman and Democratic challenger Al Franken, its principled demand for press working space and credentials in the Minnesota State Capitol in 2009 and 2010, and its continuing coverage of Occupy Minnesota, racial justice issues and labor protests. The UpTake hopes to expand its model into other regions and currently is working to develop a community reporter training program aimed at training and empowering reporters in communities of color, minority and neglect often overlooked by mainstream media. For more information on The UpTake, visit www.theuptake.org.