Do you live in a country where the media are not beholden to political or business interests? Where journalists are free to write they want, without fear of fines, beatings, imprisonment, or worse? If so, consider yourself one of a privileged few – a mere 14 percent of the world’s population, according to Freedom House, writes Jeremy Druker, a NED grantee and the founder of Press Start, and the executive director of Transitions (TOL).
Today, the vast majority – more than six billion people – live in countries where journalists risk their careers, and sometimes lives, to report on governments, businesses, and other powers, exercising what is a democratic right in other nations.
The free flow of information has never been more vital, but crippling political and financial pressures mean independent media struggle to survive, to produce quality journalism, or even to pay their reporters – no matter how talented and courageous they are.
In response, Druker has introduced Press Start, the first global crowdfunding platform specifically created to fill that gap. This is a project designed to create a new and revolutionary way to fund independent journalism in societies that are not free and emerging democracies. The site will connect journalists seeking to report the stories important to their communities with people around the world who believe in a free press and appreciate its importance to democracy.
Read more about Press Start in on Democracy Digest.