We’re building new ways to directly fund local journalism with support from the Google News Initiative
Since the launch of MuckRock’s crowdfunding tools, over a thousand donors have pitched in over $50,000 to records fees for projects large and small, telling important stories across the country. We’re now expanding that program to offer better ongoing support for local journalism with improved ways to reward supporters.
Last week, we added a link to our newsletter page in the site footer, set the default to be capped for crowdfunded requests, started adding new payment addresses for agencies, and a number of other small tweaks to the site.
The governor’s race in Georgia last year saw Democratic challenger Stacey Abrams lose by an incredibly close margin to then-Secretary of State Brian Kemp, igniting a national conversation about voter suppression. For a small fee of about $77, we can access constituent complaints and internal communications from the Board of Elections and Registration in Cobb County surrounding last November’s controversial elections.
With the recent launch of both our book of Federal Bureau of Investigation files and a crowdsourced effort to analyze Ronald Reagan’s 30,000-page file, we thought it would be the perfect time to answer one of the most frequently asked questions we get here at MuckRock: How do you even begin to tackle these huge releases?
Back in August, MuckRock user Paul Galante requested the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s files on its wartime “Postal Censorship” program. This week, the Bureau responded, having located approximately 83,000 pages. Despite the fact that the files will be released electronically through the FBI’s supposedly cost-saving portal, the Bureau is insisting Galante pay $2,485 in duplication fees. Due to the important historical nature of these records, Galante has opened the request to crowdfunding.