Will you Help us With a Story?


John Fleming

Bill Sanders, one of our freelancers, has an interesting story he wants to write. But we need your help to get it done.

Here is his story proposal and the place where you can go to help with it.

Here’s the thing. Gone are the days when an editor can throw an AP Stylebook across a newsroom and hit half a dozen beat reporters.

The changing industry, the economy, reality means fewer reporters. But that doesn’t mean the quality of reporting should suffer. Whatever the way of the industry, we’ll always adhere to strong journalism. We’ll get the facts and we’ll write with clarity.

Covering all the stories on the juvenile justice beat, though, is tougher. When you consider how big the subject is – everything from education to incarceration – we miss stories all the time. We simply can’t do it all with the staff and network of freelancers we have. But we’ll try anyway.

So we experiment, we look for ways to cover as much territory as possible, without breaking the budget.

One such experiment starts this week when Sanders posts on the website Spot.Us.


Give $10 to Fund a Story on Teen Safety

Spot.Us is itself an experiment. It’s a place for organizations such as JJIE as well as reporters to go to get stories funded. But it is also a place where the public can not only help fund stories but also commission and participate with journalists.

The folks at Spot.Us call it community-powered reported.

The public gets to see quality reporting done on important subjects, organizations with tight budgets get to cover the story and reporters actually get paid for their work.

Sanders, a former features writer for the Atlanta Journal Constitution, has crafted some compelling work for JJIE in recent months, including a series on Oxycontin. We would like to keep him busy every week, but the brutal truth is our budget doesn’t allow for it.

So we’re asking for your help in helping to make Sanders’ most recent story proposal a reality.

He has offered to write about a program run by Atlanta’s Shepherd Center – one of the nation’s top spine and brain injury rehabilitation hospitals – that aims to educate our kids about the dangers of doing reckless things, things such as diving off of rocks into shallow swimming holes, driving too fast on an ATV, water skiing too close to the dock and so on.

We can tell our kids to be careful until we are blue in the face. The people at the Shepherd Center can actually get them to listen. Good program and, potentially, a good story. We want to see it in print.

So JJIE is contributing to the story.  If you would like to help fund part of the rest of it, about $200, please visit the site, read Bill’s proposal and make your donation.

You’ll be helping to support good journalism.


One thought on “Will you Help us With a Story?

  1. I’m 52 years old and was a ward of the state of KY in 1976 for 6 months. I have stories I could tell which would probably open investigations into the way we WERE treated and are STILL treated here in KY. It was completely barbaric, violent and exploitative, and it affected me until I was into my 20s, and I am sure had effects the rest of my life. I’ve been completely above-board and dirt poor for the subsequent 34 years, but I will FOREVER be branded by the experience, and NOBODY cares.