I just pledged a small amount of money to help a journalist laid off from his or her job because of the Coronavirus. The group offering this service is called Microloans for Journalists and can be reached at the website of firstname.lastname@example.org.
I read about it on “CNN Reliable Sources with Brian Stelter” a newsletter that provides daily updates about journalists and news media events occurring throughout the country and occasionally overseas. I watch Stelter’s television program on Sundays and feel comforted knowing the media is keeping us informed and knowledgeable about things affecting us.
Of course, I am a former journalist, having worked eight years as a newspaper reporter for the Pottstown Mercury, the smallest circulation newspaper in America to be awarded more than one Pulitzer Prize. It’s located some 40 miles outside of Philadelphia.
The “microloan” organization offered the following on its website: “If you’re a professional journalist who has been laid off, furloughed, or had your pay cut by your news outlet and urgently need assistance, you can apply to receive an interest-free $500 loan, to be repaid in one year. The money will come solely from fellow journalists.” The organizers from ProPublica and OpenNews are providing the service in their spare time. As of Friday, they had “raised over $60,000 in verified pledges,” resulting in “at least 120 loans totaling $500 each.”
I can afford to make a loan of $100. It will go towards a good cause, one that I believe is sorely needed in times like these. A Free Press was guaranteed under the First Amendment to the Constitution and it has safeguarded our liberties since our nation was created.
Wouldn’t it be great if others created organizations to help other workers faced with hard times due to the virus? I’m a former union organizer and would gladly help my fellow union workers. I would also contribute to public defenders who might have lost their jobs and are in need of a helping hand.
How about printers that I worked with right out of high school? And as an army veteran, I could never forget the soldiers, sailors, airmen (airwomen) and marines. I would gladly pitch in to help ‘em.
Let’s not forget the entertainment business. I used to sing in a Doo-Wop group and can understand how these hard times have affected performers who can’t make a living performing nowadays.
Wouldn’t it be great to be matched up with a group of people who did the same thing as you but are facing hard times? Or you could just give anonymously to the field of work you identified with.
You could brighten up a person’s day knowing there are individuals just like them who care enough to help them out.