If you are like Ann and me, you are spending some time thinking about journalism now and in the future. What will be our strategy to combat the torrent of “fake news” and “alternative facts” out there? How should we respond to the Oxford Dictionaries choosing “post-truth” as the Word of the Year?
We would propose that one tangible thing we can do is to make a “one-time” donation to boost our JEA Sister Rita Jeanne Scholarships/National High School Journalist of the Year funding.
We promise not to come back to you with another campaign for five years, so we may be defining “one-time” a bit loosely. But let’s worry about 2022 (gulp!) later.
You know that we have had to include scholarship money as part of our operating budget since the scholarships began in 1984. Creating an endowment was just not possible, and with interest rates the way they are, that has not changed.
But we can show our support for terrific journalism through this 2017 campaign, with all revenue going to a special account, to be used to support (or perhaps even boost) our scholarships beginning in 2017-18.
Our goal is that the board would have a firm total from contributions to this campaign by April 1, 2017. During our “soft launch” phase of this campaign, which ran from Feb. 8 – 20, 22 donors contributed $2,460.
We recognize that everyone is in a different place financially, and that there are so many worthy groups and initiatives, all needing your dollars, but we suggest you choose one of the following three options:
Donate a flat sum of $60, the equivalent of a one-year membership in JEA.
Donate one dollar for each year you were a student media adviser.
Donate an amount of your choosing (with no amount too small or too large).
We can make an immediate impact. Imagine 100 former JEA board members (just to mentiion one motivated group) donating $60 each … adding a quick $6,000 to our funding. And how about 100 current JEA Lifetime members doing the same? Add in 500 current JEA regular members donating $60 each, and we would have $42,000 additional dollars, which funds the entire SJOY program for nearly four years!
Donors will receive a confirmation email that can be used in your 2017 tax filings, not to mention the satisfaction of knowing that JEA members are working together to make something great even better.
We hope you will join us in demonstrating support for the Journalist of the Year program and for great journalism throughout the country.
Ann Visser, MJE – JEA President 2003-2007
Jack Kennedy, MJE – JEA President 2007-2011