Tubman City News - a free, independent, online newspaper
Tubman City News is a free online newspaper giving a voice & venue to Baltimore residents about what's going on in & around Baltimore.
Thanks so much for taking the time to learn more about the kickstarter campaign of Tubman City News. The journalism bug bit me a few years ago when I had the opportunity to work as a freelance writer for Examiner.com and The Baltimore Times. Earlier this year during the April 2015 riots a.k.a. the Baltimore Uprising, I became extremely frustrated with the lack of community perspective and investigative response in print media to what was going on in Baltimore.
In the spirit of Frederick Douglass, Benjamin Franklin, William Lloyd Garrison and Harriet Tubman, I am launching a for profit, independent, newspaper to educate, inform, and empower people who live in and around Baltimore. A free, bi-weekly, online newspaper - Tubman City News - will provide Baltimore residents a voice and venue to share their perspective from a Christian lens about what's going on in and around Baltimore. News stories in Tubman City News will inspire and challenge readers to think outside the box and to be the change they want to see in Baltimore.
- I freed a thousand slaves. I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves. - Harriet Tubman
In Tubman City News, readers will read a variety of news articles written by local residents about issues, people, things, places, events, and situations that impact Baltimore. In addition to printing bi-weekly feature and investigative articles, Tubman City News will print a variety of bi-weekly reader polls to showcase the opinions along with the photos and names of local Baltimore residents on a variety of pressing community issues (i.e. health, education, politics).
Tubman City News will also include an Opinion/Editorial section where readers can write Letters to the Editor and share the spoken word via a poetry column. A green news column will feature articles about individuals and/or businesses working to make Baltimore a greener and cleaner city. A monthly youth writer's challenge will encourage youth in Baltimore to share their big ideas on how to make Baltimore a better place to live, work, play, pray and learn. A bi-weekly sports column will feature articles about athletes and teams in Baltimore. Local funeral homes will have opportunities to submit obituaries of local residents free of charge for publication in Tubman City News. Readers will also have the option to submit community events for approval for free publication in Tubman City News. The following classifieds: job/work, garage sale, car sales, real estate (rental/sale) will be for sale for print in Tubman City News.
I already have three volunteer freelance writers in addition to myself who are committed to writing feature and investigative articles. We have so many ideas that we are ready to implement, but we need seed funding to get started. I am working with a newspaper software program to develop the Tubman City News online platform that will be accessible to readers 24-hours a day via mobile phones as well as desktops/laptops/notepads. Additionally, residents will be able to share news tips/leads via a Tip Hotline.
The following is the bare-bone budget needed to launch the first online edition of Tubman City News in or around September 2015:
$850 x 2 months (office space) - $1700
$80 x 2 months (cell phone bill) -$ 160
$2,000 (individualized newspaper software program)
$355 (new business registration/lawyer fees)
$120 (professional business cards for four starting reporters)
$700 (liability insurance)
$200 (door-knockers/post-cards/refrigerator magnets marketing campaign)
$150 x 8 neighborhoods (community celebration/launch parties) - $1200
$65 (P.O. Box fee)
$100 x 2 months (tip line/cable/security system) - $200
Help us raise $6,700 by August 14, 2015. I know times are tight, and I appreciate any amount you are willing to invest to help support this journalism project. I also appreciate your prayers and your help sharing this campaign link with other possible investors.
Any monetary donation beyond the $6,700 request will be applied toward the costs of office space, Internet/telephone, liability insurance, security system, and other fees needed to print future editions of Tubman City News . Additionally, if more than $35,000 is raised a portion of the funds will be used to pay a small stipend to and professional development fees for a team of Baltimore residents (adults & youth) who will be contracted to photograph news in action and write "original" news articles exclusively in Tubman City News.
- Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world. - Harriet Tubman
Although there are several existing newspapers in Baltimore, none of them use a Christian lens to report news. Also, hardly any of them provide consistent support to empower residents to write and publish news from their perspectives.
All it takes is for 100 people to donate $67. Be part of the 100 STRONG, and help us make history in Baltimore with the launch of Tubman City News!
Risks and challenges
The biggest challenge is raising the seed money to launch the first edition of Tubman City News. Every line item on the seed budget is essential to the success of this project. It is vital that the website is high-quality and professional. The use of a professional newspaper software program will ensure the creation a professional online newspaper that is easy to access, read, and maintain. Additionally, marketing and branding (i.e. business cards, flyers/post cards, etc.) are essential in helping to ensure people in and around Baltimore know about Tubman City News. Even more important is the opportunity to connect with residents in Baltimore to share information about Tubman City News and to recruit local freelance writers. Launch/celebrations parties are planned for eight target communities (Govans, Park Heights, Belair-Edison, Sandtown/Winchester, East Baltimore/Midtown, Penn/North, Edmondson Village, and Cedonia) to celebrate the launching of Tubman City News and help recruit freelance writers. Once the seed funding is acquired, it will be easy to move forward in launching Tubman City News. It is expected that ad sales to a variety of entities including businesses will help sustain the bi-weekly production of this free online newspaper.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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