The cable news networks have 24 hours to fill every day - how is it possible that they all cover the same four stories over and over? When there’s a drought in Texas, a battle over bus discrimination in Ohio, and software innovation in Phoenix, why would they cover Miley Cyrus’ appearance on Saturday Night Live as a news story?
Did you know the White House created a map of America and forgot the top third of Michigan? If you think Americans have a good opinion of Middle America, take a look at this map: http://www.businessinsider.com/this-one-map-shows-what-americans-really-think-of-each-other-2013-8. Where are the smartest states? Where are the dumbest? The ugliest?
National reporters only seem to visit middle America when it's a presidential election year, there’s severe weather or a terrible crime.
You can be part of the solution to the problem. We need you to do two things: donate and then share this page with your friends.
WHY IS THE GOAL NOW ONLY $20,000?
We didn't pad the original goal. But we also didn't make that goal and yet we believe so strongly in the mission of this show and the need for it, that we're not willing to give up. So, until we get sponsors, our team will forego salaries. With $20,000, we can get the show launched and get it on to public radio stations immediately. We'll work out the rest of the funding from there.
WHY IT’S URGENTLY NEEDED:
We all have a sense that most national coverage focuses on L.A., D.C., and New York, and the statistics bear that out. In a recent survey of stories on NPR between 2006 and 2011, New York had 331 stories per year, Oklahoma had 14. You could say that’s because of population size, but even with its large size and population, Texas got less than half the national average of stories.
There was a presidential election in 2008, so states like Ohio and Iowa got special attention. If you take presidential politics out of the mix, the numbers are stark: the middle of the country doesn't get the coverage it deserves.
This is more than a show. This is the beginning of a revolution in news coverage.
WHY WE NEED YOUR DONATION:
We’re doing something that the big networks won’t. In order to do that, we need to launch this show independently, outside of the network system. If we want to maintain editorial control and stick to our core principles (stories only from middle America, partnerships with local stations), then we need to remain independent.
And that means we need your donation.
Listen to the pilots:
WHY WE CAN DO THIS BETTER THAN ANYONE:
Celeste Headlee spent years reporting from Flagstaff, Arizona and then Detroit, Michigan before she became a national host on NPR and PRI. She knows from personal experience how hard it is to get stories from Middle America on the national shows and she’s heard the terrible coverage that results from sending D.C. reporters parachuting into a city to cover a story. Many people in this business automatically assume that stories from New York and L.A. are more important; Celeste does not.
WHAT WE NEED:
A basic studio setup with a mic, mixer, Telos unit for recording phone calls, acoustic foam for the walls and audio editing software. Those are all one-time investments. But we also need funds to pay local reporters for their stories, to pay commentators, and to pay local stations for studio time.
WHAT WE WILL DO:
Publish weekly updates for local stations to drop into existing programming. We will partner closely with stations in Middle America, give their reporters a platform and bring attention to the news of their communities. We’ll also publish longer podcasts regularly with the news, politics and culture of Middle America, bringing you the stories that national networks ignore and helping you understand the nation in a way you never have before.
We will bring your countrymen and women a little closer, let you get to know the people that make this nation unique. This part is guaranteed.
AND we will choose a home station for the show, a headquarters somewhere in the middle of the country. We will move our operations to that local public radio station and find a national distributor. This is the part we can’t guarantee, but there’s a lot of interest already from both stations and distributors. We just need a boost from you to get it off the ground.
It all starts with your donation.