Just dropped back in to see how the telethon is going. You've raised about 10% of your goal, I see. Let me see if I can help you out a bit with that...Um, apology accepted. I guess.
First, if it was so pointless to respond, then why did you bother to spend so much time on, well... a response? Not only that, you then posted my "pointless" comment on your front page in a new post. Ah, that's of no real consequence.
My implication that you are a tourist is clearly vindicated by your effort to raise money to come back to Flint in the first place. But, that implication of "tourism" doesn't matter either.
Second, I've spent time around here. Long nostalgic diatribes about the past does not make for socially relevant material for the future. History is nice but, others before you have done much better work. You better do some reading yourself, my friend. I'm sorry if I offended you and your sycophantic readership who basks in the nostalgic glory of good old "Flinttown." But, the real populous of Flint cares very little about you, your readers, and your work. Not to be mean, just honest.
Third, since we are admonishing each other for assumptions... don't assume that I need to wake up and examine the direction of media. As you think a blog, any blog, is new (or news) media? You think 2007 is ancient in blog terms? I wrote a widely read blog, from Flint, eight years before you and it was essentially irrelevant despite many achievements, being a very early adopter, despite being a well respected and connected blogger, and despite millions of visitors. It's you that does not understand the direction of written online media, not me.
If you understood the demise of print media, you'd have never cited the Flint Journal as an example of the untimely demise of print journalism. They mismanaged themselves at every turn. Imagine a company that spends 30 million dollars on a printing facility, infrastructure, a building, etc... as the entire print world is imploding? Wow. Yeah, those reporters should be very angry. Don't think I blame writers... they just write. No matter, no one is reading any newspaper. Period. If you think what you are doing here is 1). Journalism. 2). Potentially profitable. and 3). Innovative... you're the one who should examine the world of the written journalistic word. Not me.
Which brings me to the fourth point, $5,000.00 for six months is more than some families earn here in Flint. That is, to be able to work a minimum wage job, for the minimum amount of hours, for no benefits, etc... How does your great journalistic mind deserve even $5.00 to examine a culture where the average income is many thousands less than the nationally acknowledged level of poverty? That isn't just exploitative, it's gosh and rude. Besides, if you work, why beg for a dime? Foot the bill for yourself, do your work, write your... whatever it is... and shut up about needing money! In fact, what is this great work you've conceived of? I see no synopsis, no treatment, not even a half-baked proposal. Last I checked, a proposition for investors needed at least an explanation of how the funds will be utilized.
Finally, I respect and admire your Flint and family heritage. I admit my mistake in assuming that you were a suburb kid (like others) who look to Flint to exploit it, but do no real good for the thousands and thousands suffering here, except only to promote themselves.
While you may not be exploiting it, you will not do any real good either... Which is exactly why anyone who either gives money to you or, will give money to you is clearly very, very stupid.
Ex-pats are as such: expat (n) - exile, expatriate: a person who is voluntarily absent from home or country. You gave up your Flint citizenship.... don't bother coming back, we still don't need you.
I know I probably shouldn't, but I'm starting to like Anonymous. His or her comment got me wondering just where my readers are coming from since the blog was originally intended primarily for former Flintoids — hence the name — who far outnumber current Flint residents. So I did a little checking and found that of the 97,304 unique visitors to Flint Expatriates since December 2007, the biggest percentage (9.05 %) actually come from dear old Flint. Next is Grand Blanc (2.9%), followed by Chicago (2.81%). Alas, still just one lone visitor from the poetically named Freiburg Im Breisgau in Germany (0.0%)
If you're interested, here's the original post from April 19:
My younger friends warned me about the dangers of asking people to pay even a small amount for something they're used to getting for free on the internet. But I guess I didn't expect this when I launched the Flint Reporting Project:
I'm sensing that anonymous won't be making a donation. Here's my response:
Anonymous, I sense it’s really pointless to respond to your comment. You clearly haven’t read very much of Flint Expatriates or my other work on Flint. (The blog started in October 2007, well before the recent fires.) But I’ll give this a shot anyway.
My grandparents moved to Flint around 1925 when they were in their early twenties and lived there the rest of their lives, most of the time on Illinois Avenue. My mom grew up in Flint and spent most of her life there. I lived in Flint until I was about 22. No offense to the good citizens of Linden, but I’m pretty sure I’ve never knowingly been there. I’ve been to Fenton about five times in my life, once for a St. Mary’s football game against St. John Fenton. So forgive me if I’m a little offended when you imply that I’m some sort of tourist. Having lived through a lot of it, I know all about the misery in Flint.
While there’s no doubt I’d love to be writing for Vanity Fair at $4/word, I don’t think I have what you describe as “career anxiety.” I recently wrote about Flint for Slate and The New York Times, so I feel like I’m doing okay as far as that goes. Besides, a money losing reporting trip to Flint is not exactly the way to bolster your journalism career. By the way, I have a full time job, in addition to freelancing. And I write this blog in my spare time. So, again, I’m a little offended at the implication that I’m some sort of loafer.
You should take a look at the journalism world before you try to denigrate reporters for trying to figure out alternative ways to cover topics they care about. The future of journalism does not appear to be the old model of media companies spending lavishly to cover the news and paying for it with display advertising. Just ask some of the Flint Journal reporters how well this model is working. And $5,000 for six months of work seems pretty reasonable. Your implication that I’m getting rich while going on an “adventure” is pretty ridiculous.
By the way, I prefer Cafe Roma but I don’t get to North Beach much.