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Mr. Wilson Goes to Washington

$680 of $7,500 goal

Raised by 8 people in 27 days
Glynn R Wilson  MOBILE, AL
I'm sure you're all familiar with the film Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. It's a classic tale. A freshman U.S. Senator named Jefferson Smith, played by James Stewart, goes to Washington, D.C., full of hope and idealism. He tries to pass a bill to create a national outdoor camp, but it is shot down by corrupt politicians who are after the same land to dam a river. He tries using the press to tell his story, but he is shut down by a powerful mainstream newspaper publisher who also owns radio stations and is behind the graft scheme. Mr. Smith filibusters in the Senate and wins in the end with the help of a sympathetic woman Senate staffer and her friend, a reporter.

Well I'm no Senator, but I am a reporter, and used to write for some of the biggest names in the newspaper business, including the New York Times, the Christian Science Monitor and the Dallas Morning News. Prior to that I taught journalism at universities and conducted quantitative academic research with a specialty in media effects on public opinion. Before that, I free-lanced for magazines and wrote for smaller newspapers, where I learned how to use my position as a journalist to make democracy work.

About 12 years ago, disgruntled with the performance of the mainstream media in America in covering public affairs, and disappointed with the capitalistic nature of academe, I started publishing independenly on the web. I now edit and publish the New American Journal online at NewAmericanJournal.Net.

Last year I published a book about my experiences. You can check out the book and buy it online in Amazon Kindle form or in paperback here:  Jump On The Bus: How the Independent Web Press Could Save American Democracy.

For the past three years, I have been traveling back and forth from a base operation in the South to and from Washington, exploring ways to live and work inexpensively on the road and operate out of a media camper van. I'm not a greedy person and I love the great outdoors. Covering science and the environment are among my specialties.

But the greatest challenge we face today in American journalism is how to live up to the mission set forth in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to cover not just both sides in politics, but public affairs in a way that truly helps the public find out what's really going on.

Since the mainstream media helped Donald Trump win the presidency last year by covering his every statement and Tweet as if his crazy point of view had legitimacy, there has been much talk on Facebook and elsewhere about "fake news" and how that helped Trump win the election. We now know that Trump's chief White House strategist Steve Bannon, formerly of the alt-right Breitbart News, and Trump, were funded by libertarian conservative Robert Mercer, who gave Bannon $11 million to  use his news outfit to help turn the country to the right for Trump and against Hillary Clinton. We still do not know the full extent of Trump's connections to Russia. There are several ongoing investigations into that controversy.

But it is safe to say the MSM played its own role in leading us to this distressing point in our history. It has been my mission and is still my goal to try to get people to understand that we need a new media model in this country if we are ever going to avoid this pattern of two steps forward, one step back. I know how to do this. Yet I cannot do it without your help and support.

That's why I am asking for you to help fund this modest proposal to pay for my expenses to make the trip back to DC this summer. I should be asking for $11 million like Bannon, or at least $1 million or maybe $100,000. If you've got it and want to invest it, I'll take it and put it to good use.

But for now, I have the experience of knowing I can do more with less. I once helped stop a dam on a free flowing river with a budget of $4,000 when the PR firm promoting the dam had $450,000. I am used to winning from the point of view of an underdog.

When we reach this modest goal of raising $7,500, I will most likely keep this GoFundMe going as a long-term way for readers to support the alternative, independent Watchdog Web Press. We already have a PayPal Account where readers can send us donations.

With this GoFundMe campaign, however, we can be specific about what we need and how much it is projected to cost. So here is the breakdown.

Gas

First we need to raise the money to pay for the camper van gas and oil to get to Washington in May, to operate there for four months or so,  and get back to Mobile in October. A detailed calculation based on the size of the gas tank, the average price of gas, the gas mileage rate and the number of miles involved, I need about $1,106 for gas and oil.

Food

Me and my dog Jefferson have to eat, you know, but we can get by very inexpensively living in the camper van. Based on a ridiculously low per diem rate of only $20 a day for four months, we are only asking for $2,400 for food, and that includes dog food.

Basic Expenses

At this time I am already paying a little more than $100 a month for an iPhone with a built in WiFi Hot Spot. So we need about $400 to cover that for this trip.

I am also paying about $50 a month for auto insurance, so I need $200 for this time period.

We also pay about $150 a year for domain names and a server hosting package. Your donation will help support that and ensure that we stay in business publishing online.

Computer

I am including the cost of a new computer in this budget. The Mac Mini I have now is four years old and slowing down due to all the wear and tear, especially from producing news videos. The latest search for a refurbished Mac Mini shows that I can get one with a 2.4 GH processor and a 1 TB HD for about $650.

I recently purchaed a new Cannon camera, tripod and a new 27-inch LG monitor, so we are good on that front. But I may try to hire a video crew to help me do a few stories. I would also like to hire a writer friend of mine already living in DC to produce a few columns and stories, with photos. I am including about $1,500 for that in this budget.

Story Ideas

I have several story ideas in mind for this trip. I don't want to tip my hand too much on what I plan to do, and of course we always run across stories on the road. But as my regular readers know, we have already been covering the story about Trump's Attorney General Jeff Sessions lying to Congress. We should be able to get more done on this story and other stories related to the Trump administration by being camped out 12 miles from the White House and the Capitol.

Notice I am not asking for camp site fees for this trip. I have a free campsite already lined up with water, power and sewer hookups. I am prohibited from revealing the details of that volunteer arrangement. The good news is we are not asking readers and supporters to pay for that this time around like we did on our recent trip out west.

I recently tried to get a call back and an interview with Minnesota Senator Al Franken, the one who did the best job of questioning Sessions on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. But I gather from recent intel picked up from DC insiders that the only way to get to Franken is to catch him in the halls of the Capitol. That will happen on this trip. I will get a video interview and story.

Another story we have already been covering is related to Republican congressmen in Alabama and Florida.

Republican Rhetoric Doesn’t Match Report Showing Millions Would Lose Health Care Under Trump Plan

 A number of our readers have expressed dismay with the job Bradley Byrne is doing, as well as Matt Gaetz, who is literally trying to abolish the EPA . Imagine what we could do with a video camera in the halls of Congress? Remember Michael Moore? Washington here we come.

We will also continue to cover science and the environment, and especially the renewed battle about climate change due to global warming from the burning of fossil fuels. I recently ran a story about this based on a report from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, with a headquarters located not far from where I will be camping.

Scientists Issue Statement Opposing Trump Order Withdrawing from Global Climate Change Fight

The division of NASA that keeps up with climate science is also located in that part of Maryland. I plan to make some connections there and do some stories based on what I learn.

Also, by being located inside the Washington beltway, we will be in a better position to develop sources and work on stories related to spying and hacking.

Deadline

We need as much of the money as possible by the last week of May, but we can continue to bring in donations through September.

Thank You for Your Support!

I want to thank you all for supporting this trip in advance. I sincerely appreciate it and believe you are doing the right thing, since the old model of selling subscriptions and advertising is not getting the job done these days to fund the press we need.

If Steve Bannon can get Donald Trump elected president with Robert Mercer's money, imagine what we could do with a fraction of that money?

Read more about this here:

How We Are Going to Fund the New Free Press



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Update 4
Posted by Glynn Wilson
1 day ago
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Another hundred bucks just came in. We are well on our way to funding the trip to DC. Please consider making your contribution today and sharing this important cause with your friends on Facebook.
Help fund the Watchdog Web Press
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Update 3
Posted by Glynn Wilson
12 days ago
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HERE'S THE BIG DEAL FOLKS. A door has opened up in the cosmos and I have a chance to meet and dine with Nan and Gay Talese in New York this summer. But I still need to raise the money for the trip. This is critical for access to certain research I need for the followup book to my memoir which is out now on Amazon Kindle. It is also a rare opportunity to get that book in front of a major New York editor and publisher. I talked to Gay Talese on the phone the other day mainly because he called me back since he does not do email. I met him in 1994 when we had our picture taken together at the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Crimson White newspaper at the University of Alabama. I interviewed him for a special edition of The Southerner magazine in 1999 on Willie Morris, who saved his career by paying $10,000 for two excerpts of The Kingdom and the Power book on the New York Times for Harper's magazine. It is critical that I raise enough money to pay for the trip. Please help if you want to see this grand experiment in web publishing continue: https://www.gofundme.com/mr-wilson-goes-to-washington
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Update 2
Posted by Glynn Wilson
24 days ago
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The State of American Journalism

There are lots of reports out showing the dramatic decline in print readership habits, the drop in advertising revenue for newspapers, the impact of social media on the economy for the traditional media and even a new scandal that threatens one big newspaper that was showing some signs of growth.

How Mercer Funded Brietbart News

There is one other story out there we should be considering, and I say this is the most critical one. Perhaps the answer does not lie in web advertising or pay walls. If there is a real story out there now about “fake news” it is certainly about how Steve Bannon of Brietbart News received $11 million from conservative tech guru Robert Mercer and used that money and that outfit to drive fake news against Hillary Clinton and positive news about Trump not just on the web and social networking sites, but also on talk radio and cable news.

It is going to take something else, which will mean a paradigm shift in how we think about news “objectivity.”

We need a news website committed to chasing the facts to the logical truth, no matter where that leads politically. This will require a fair amount of boring straight news reporting on a daily basis that is not going to go viral on social media. But the basic reporting has to be laid down before the commentary makes sense. This requires more resources than traditional subscriptions and advertising on the web are going to provide in the foreseeable future.

Read more about how we are going to fund the new free press here: http://www.newamericanjournal.net/2017/04/how-we-are-going-to-fund-the-new-free-press/
America has fallen and can't get up
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Update 1
Posted by Glynn Wilson
26 days ago
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If Steve Bannon can get Donald Trump elected president with Robert Mercer's money, imagine what we could do with that kind of money?
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Read a Previous Update

$680 of $7,500 goal

Raised by 8 people in 27 days
Created March 30, 2017
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Love what you are doing...Rowl's an old hs buddy and had a little extra this month...good luck with your venture1

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