Update: the $10,000 has been claimed. Thank you all!
This offer was first posted Feb. 7 but there is still some money left, with new expiration date of Feb. 24 midnight.
The following post that includes a charitable offer to readers.
Some of you know that at the beginning of the Covid shutdowns, I gave away $10,000 total to 100 people who wrote me and said they needed help with groceries. It wasn't much, but it was something that I hope helped these people and families at a very difficult time.
This year, I started a cash prize for independent reporting at my alma mater, the University of Florida (UF), to encourage off-narrative, accurate reporting and investigations without agendas. I call it the ION Awards for "Investigative and Off-Narrative" (ION) reporting or, if you prefer, "Investigative and Original News."
I have funded a Freedom of Information seminar at UF and donated to the university's Brechner Center for Freedom of Information. I also funded the UF journalism student reporting group that specializes in this type of instruction under the tutelage of the amazing Ted Bridis, who formerly headed up the award-winning investigative team at Associated Press (AP).
I started a similar cash incentive for students at Diablo Valley College where I sit on a journalism advisory board, and where the amazing professor Mickey Huff is working hard to encourage and train a new set of young journalists to report skeptically, accurately, and fairly; and to resist the propaganda environment the media has become steeped in today. Huff is director of Project Censored and president of the Media Freedom Foundation; Chair of Journalism at Diablo Valley College.
I have also supported Huff's Project Censored, which publishes important journalism and, in an annual list and book, highlights the most important stories the media censored that year. You should check it out!
I plan to soon start a professional ION Award program to reward good, old-fashioned reporting done the right way in the professional world of journalism. There's still plenty of it being done; but too often, it's the bad reporting that is given front page spots and ink.
These are some of the causes that I've invested in with proceeds from sales of my New York Times bestsellers: Stonewalled and The Smear, and my USA Today bestseller: Slanted. It's not much in the scheme of things, but I'm always looking for ways to help, and also to fight the devolution of news as we once knew it.
I'm also self-funding a very expensive fight against the government for the spying on my (and my family's) computers and devices when I was a CBS News correspondent. Right now, one of the defendants, an ex-Secret Service agent convicted and serving prison time on unrelated corruption charges, is getting a robust defense from the Dept. of Justice courtesy of your tax dollars, which hired a private firm to work for him. Instead of holding the guilty parties accountable, the Justice Dept. defends them with your tax money.
Why do I fight? It's not just for me. After all of our independent forensics exams and talking to inside sources, we learned that the government has illegally spied on-- and is likely still spying on-- many journalists and other U.S. citizens. This has been ongoing for many years under multiple administrations. Congress knows it (and both Democrats and Republicans have been included in the illegal spying), judges know it, and other journalists know it. But nobody seems intent upon addressing it in a meaningful way. I believe this is a large reason why the brazen and improper wiretapping of the Trump campaign by the FBI happened. And so it will continue if we don't do something. I may not change the whole corrupt system, but I'm doing what little is in my power to draw attention to the issue.
Learn more here if you're interested in reading more about Attkisson v. DOJ, including information about the widespread disinformation campaign designed to discredit the case.
Another way I try to help is with this website, SharylAttkisson.com. I'm pleased to say we have quite a following at the news site! A lot of you are looking for off-narrative information. The more of you who visit, the more it costs to buy the infrastructure and services required to maintain the site.
I tried allowing ads for a short time within articles to help defray costs, but found the ads were far too disruptive to the reading experience, so I eliminated them. Random Google-supported ads that I used to allow to appear on the site helped a little, but Google has used that leverage to try to censor hundreds of pages on my site, demanding that I remove them, even though they contain nothing more than factual, cited information. So I have eliminated the Google-based ads. If you wish to help, you can always visit The Sharyl Attkisson Store that Peter, my web guy, set up to help defray costs. There are some pretty cool items for Independent Thinkers!
Enough said. I buried the headline.
As a small gesture to help, I'm giving away $100 each to 50 people for whom the amount would make a big difference in a pressing need, whether it's gas, groceries, or a way to get by another couple of days until a paycheck arrives.
If you need the money for yourself (please, do not apply for others or to give to charity), please write to me at email@example.com with the subject title CASH AWARD with a very short description of what you would use the money for. Be sure you send it from, or include, a PayPal registered email for yourself. If you are among the first 50 who applies, you may receive a payment. Be sure your email address works for PayPal.
This offer expires at noon EST Monday Feb. 7. Judging by the response last time, the money is entirely committed within an hour or so of the posting. This post was published at approximately 2pm EST Sun. Feb. 6. This giveaway does not constitute a promise or guarantee of any kind, nor does it imply any obligation on my part. I apologize, but I cannot individually correspond with people whose PayPal email does not work when I try to submit the payment. This happened with a couple of the payments last time. Please note I cannot individually respond to emails sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. I have someone who will help me sift through the first 50 with the title CASH AWARD.
Thank you for doing what you can to promote an open and free information environment in today's increasingly managed landscape! Thanks for reading SharylAttkisson.com and for always keeping an open mind and thinking independently.
Do your own research, make up your own mind, think for yourself!