At the Twin Cities Daily Planet, we don’t treat news as a commodity, and we don’t think of you as an information consumer. We think of you as a citizen (of the U.S. or of the planet) and we try to provide you with the information that you need in order to participate more fully in the life of your community. We need your participation and your financial support to keep this news project going.
If you shop at farmers markets, or belong to a community-supported agriculture group, or if you make a point of buying organic or sustainably produced foods when you shop for groceries, then you already get what is wrong with America’s cheap food policy: It encourages unhealthy diets, and unhealthy agricultural practices. We all pay the price for this policy, in the form of epidemic rates of obesity and diabetes, skyrocketing health care costs, and environmental destruction.
America’s cheap news policy is very similar. We have come to expect news, like food, to be cheap, and news online to be free. But there are hidden costs to cheap news production, and we all pay the price. Under pressure to cut costs and maintain profitability, the big commercial news organizations serve up commodity news that is designed to be tasty and cheap to produce, but doesn’t provide a balanced information diet. And content often gets skewed towards reaching the audience that is most attractive to advertisers. (There’s a saying in the newspaper industry: “We aren’t in the business of selling newspapers to readers. We are in the business of selling eyeballs to advertisers.”)
You are willing to pay more for local and sustainably produced food because you know that your dollars are supporting things you believe in: healthier communities and a healthier planet.
And we try to produce our information in a way that enriches our civic soil. That’s why we invest a lot of resources in training citizen journalists from diverse Twin Cities communities, and in paying citizen journalists to cover their communities. And it’s also why we recently added neighborhood pages for every Minneapolis and St. Paul neighborhood, with interactive maps of local businesses and attractions, listings of neighborhood events, and even thumbnail portraits of registered Daily Planet users who live in the neighborhood. By helping Twin Citizens build stronger relationships to their neighbors and their community, we build civic capital.
You don’t have to support us financially to become a member of the Twin Cities Daily Planet community, and you don’t have to become a member to support us financially. But I want to encourage you to do both. If you sign up as a registered user of the Daily Planet, you will be able to create a personal profile, start a blog, upload articles, add attractions and businesses to our maps and listings, and post events to our calendar. You are also cordially invited to sign up for our free citizen journalism and media skills classes, and to attend our weekly writers groups and monthly Brownbag Lunch With A Journalist programs.
If you donate to TCMA through the new GiveMN.org donation website, (http://givemn.razoo.com/story/Twin-Cities-Media-Alliance) 100% of your gift will go to us – all of the processing fees are covered. If you prefer, you can send a check to TCMA, 2600 E. Franklin, suite #2, Minneapolis MN 55406.