Sunday, July 9, 2017

Why Independent Media Needs Your Support Part 2

By Conscious Optimist

There exists among several branches of “activism” and “truth seeking” a pervasive idea – the idea that one should not ask for monetary compensation in exchange for their hard work.  Though I intuit that adherence to this notion may be on the decline in recent years (and I could be wrong about that…), this is something that is worth discussing for a multitude of reasons.  Most importantly, it takes time and resources to do the work necessary to help bring about positive upliftment for individuals and communities alike.

Related Why Independent Media Needs Your Support Part 1
In recognizing the deleterious effect that political and social influence has had on media, several sites, activists, and authors have vowed to accept support only from their viewership, and no other source.  While this is an admirable stance to take, it is difficult to maintain in today’s world of media inundation, “information overload”, and highly divergent social and political trends.  In short, we live in volatile times, and a project’s success this month does not necessarily translate into continuing success in the future.

Nonetheless, to maintain a news website requires a lot of effort.  It may be hard to appreciate for those who don’t do this work – for those who consume this work largely at no cost to themselves save for the effort required to click a link – but all the writing, researching, editing, networking, internet administration, etc. required to maintain a website often amounts to more than a full-time job.  The idea that it should be done in a state of material deprivation is unfair and unrealistic; the idea that this should be done for free is simply untenable.

By contrast, running a propaganda outlet would be a much easier job.  Why?  Because a propagandist is only concerned with generating a mass response based on lowest common denominator stereotypes and widely accepted cultural narratives.  Propagandists play with trends; real journalists and newscasters provide data, context, and, where appropriate, perspective.  The former and the latter require an audience, but the former need not be accountable to said audience – and therein lies the difference.  The former does their job in order to influence trends; the latter wields facts and truth (to the best of their ability) to assist others in becoming immune to superficial trends.

With all this being said, let us return to the subject of Newsbud

Newsbud offers an amazing service.  Their work is top quality, and roughly 90% of it is available online for free.  I hope that this way of doing business has not undermined their efforts too greatly, since I imagine that many people wouldn’t think to become a paid subscriber to a service that is already largely available at no cost.  I do not mean to be cynical, but this is what I would predict based on my own personal observations, participation in alternative media, and studies in psychology.  In short, you can expect people to pay as little as possible for as much as possible as often as possible…

In their video asking for donations, I was somewhat disheartened to see many people complaining that they had been “mistreated” by Newsbud simply because Newsbud needs more money to maintain operations.  It’s odd that people would take this personally, especially considering that, of all audiences, Newsbud’s should be well aware of the difficulties facing crowd-sourced, truthful media.

My thinking is that, rather than getting upset at Newsbud, this may be a good opportunity for their audience to reflect upon the difficulties inherent in spreading the truth in our current era of omni-propaganda.  Rather than ask why Newsbud needs money to continue operations, we should instead ask ourselves why is it so hard to spread accurate and empowering information in the first place?  Personally, I am of the opinion that, until a sufficient number of people ask themselves that very question and act constructively on the answers it prompts, then we will collectively remain hostage to our own apathy and ignorance, especially insofar as those people who sacrifice their time and energy to provide us the information we yearn for.

As for my own personal take on Newsbud’s situation, I would release no more than 50% of their material freely online if I were them.  This way, people have more of a reason to become paid subscribers, and a regular subscription base would provide them with more reliable funding.  In the meantime, there’s plenty of information out there on the web, and there’s ample opportunity for you and I to become informed.

Anyways, that’s my 2 cents on that… Now to bring this back to a bigger picture…

If people find it unreasonable for a crowd-sourced media company – one that is attempting to provide a regular schedule of professional grade material – to request sufficient funding to operate, then that is unfortunate.  It evinces an “I’m the customer and I’m always right” mentality, which suggests that those who make such comments are more concerned with being entertained than with doing anything useful with the wellspring of material and research already provided. Thankfully though, this consumer-driven way of thinking is changing slowly but surely, one individual at a time. 

We need to transcend the “entertainer and entertained” relationship between media and audience, and transition into a relationship of mutual assistance – to any degree that we can manage.  It simply isn’t enough for people to digest information, feel satisfied, and then sit and wait for a delivery of the next plateful of data.  People should be connecting dots, connecting with each other, and finding ways to mutually uplift each other out of all forms of poverty – including and especially the kind of poverty associated with a scarcity of accurate and empowering information.

The number of people who accept that governments and corporations alike are engaging in dirty campaigns and psy-ops against activists yet demand “consistency” and “results” from this or that activist/guru/movement is staggering.  It is almost as if great numbers of people were simply waiting for a superhero that fits their particular “taste” to show up and fix the world – not so different from a finicky consumer desiring their favorite latte be delivered with just the right smile!

I am squarely of the opinion that humanity can do better than that, and it seems many are realizing this new paradigm in their lives. The world is going to transition to a credit-based pay-it-forward model, wherein we support each other implicitly. But at this time, the transition requires wayshowers, it requires people who are willing to see past money and the stereotypes that come with it, for the greater work taking place under the surface. 

I believe that we have it in ourselves to transcend our mental and emotional limitations that keep us from being more productive, trustworthy, and unbiased.  In fact, it is because I am certain of humanity's potential for self-actualization and the transcendence of modern day social engineering and slavery that I write these articles.

So before snapping to a quick judgment when the issue of money comes up, empathize with those who have put themselves out there to ask for support. And recall that there are many ways to support the media outlets we enjoy—either by clicking on their ads, sharing their content on social media, or purchasing products we find of value from their vendors. 

Of course, it isn't prudent to give away all our money, nor do we need to donate to those who ask for it. But we can simply support them by not assuming generating money or the asking of it automatically means the person can't be trusted. 

When the day comes where money is no longer needed, we'll all be much better off. But until then, money is a resource we'll have to manage, and in doing so, we can help provide energy to the great work of improving ourselves and the world. 

- Conscious Optimist

The preceding text is a Stillness in the Storm original creation. Please share freely. 

About The Author

Conscious Optimist

I am nothing more than an example of someone who decided to make an honest effort to become accountable to the Truth, and to see what I could do to help improve my life and the conditions of the world beyond myself. One fateful day, roughly a decade ago, I realized that I knew absolutely nothing about the world or myself and decided that this was unacceptable. I began amassing a pile of books on every subject I considered important to the world and to myself. I have been reading, experimenting, and contemplating ever since, having categorically rejected the premise that it is “good enough” for other people to be “smart on my behalf.” Today I possess somewhat extensive knowledge on subjects as diverse as Law, Music, Hypnosis, Ecology, the Occult, Theology, and Politics, and do the best I can to synthesize this knowledge into articles and presentations for the benefit of all knowledge-seekers, self-helpers, and world-healers who may, from time to time, stumble upon my work.

If you'd like to reach me, you can email me at, though unfortunately I cannot promise I'll respond since my time is very limited.

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Question -- What is the goal of this website? Why do we share different sources of information that sometimes conflicts or might even be considered disinformation? 
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