On Nov. 2, 2009, we went live with our website and began mailing out our daily newsletter that links our original stories and a roundup of news about state government and politics from over 50 websites and blogs across Maryland.
Our goal from the beginning was to be your one-stop shop for news about Maryland government and politics. We were able to start up in this bad economy with the help of the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, which was concerned about the loss of coverage of state governments around the country. The foundation also wanted us to share this information with as many people and news organizations as possible – at no charge.
That’s why we are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation. We rely on the tax-deductible support of donors, sponsors, some advertisers, and foundations. In order to get our full grants, we must raise money locally to show Marylanders support our work.
We are grateful that over 100 individuals and organizations listed on our website have contributed to our work. We hope you will become one of them.
Here are some of the good things that have happened in the last few months.
- In August, The Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation in Oklahoma City awarded MarylandReporter.com a major grant over the next two years to expand its coverage and its staff by training aspiring journalists in investigative reporting.
“At EEJF, our mission is to invest in the future of journalism by supporting organizations around the nation who produce principled, probing news and information,” said Bob Ross, president and CEO of the foundation. “We strive to partner with organizations that are entrepreneurial in spirit and we are proud to partner with all of our current grant recipients, each displaying this type of innovation.”
- In August, the Fix, the lead political blog at The Washington Post, named MarylandReporter.com as one of “best state-based political blogs” in the nation, based on a poll of its readers. MarylandReporter.com shares honors with Red Maryland.
- MarylandReporter.com continued to build page views and unique visitors. Our coverage of congressional redistricting was particularly popular. So were our stories about school funding going to districts that supported the alcohol tax, and our series on the flight of the wealthy taxpayers, including an interview with one of those elusive millionaires leaving Maryland for Florida.
- The use of our content by other media, both print and online has increased, as have our appearances on radio talk shows and TV. Our stories have run on national sites, including Pro Publica and Daily Kos.
We try to write stories that other news organizations aren’t covering . That’s why I am going to India to report on the governor’s economic development trip there after Thanksgiving. I may be the only reporter on the trip, though I’m not officially part of the delegation.
I have a master’s degree in East Asian history, I’ve been to China and Japan several times, and I’ve taught Modern Asian History at Montgomery College. But I’ve never been to India, the world’s largest democracy.
I don’t think we should totally rely on press releases to find out what our governor is doing thousands of miles away on official business. However, the trip is expensive, and I hope some folks will step up to help subsidize the journey.
Ultimately there is no free lunch, and no free news. Somebody pays. We have chosen the nonprofit model, like public radio. We’ve survived two years now. Hopefully, we’ll be here next year and the year after that. With your help, we will be.
Please use the donate button to make a tax-deductible contribution or send a check to the address below. For larger organizations we also have sponsorships and advertising packages available. We recently started accepting advertising in the newsletter, which goes to 5,500 people.
Thanks for reading MarylandReporter.com and thanks in advance for making a tax-deductible donation to the cause.
A copy of the current financial statement of MarylandReporter.com (IRS Form 990) is available by writing Len Lazarick, MarylandReporter.com Inc., 6392 Shadowshape Place, Columbia, MD 21045, by e-mailing Len@MarylandReporter.com, or by calling 410-312-9840. Documents and information submitted under the Maryland Solicitations Act are also available, for the cost of postage and copies, from the Maryland Secretary of State, State House, Annapolis MD 21401, (410) 974-5534.