Christmas is just a few weeks away, and a reader named Phil Huckelberry has come to me with an excellent idea. “Maybe,” he wrote me over the weekend, “what we should really all be buying each other this holiday season is journalism.”
Huckelberry explained: “Journalism—real journalism—is in serious trouble, as you know as well as anyone. In an era where there are actually rallies held for things like “saving the Reader,” someone’s got to take minor initiatives like this, right?”
To advance his idea, Huckelberry’s created a Facebook page he calls Journalism Wednesday. Here’s how it explains itself:
Journalism Wednesday is based on a simple premise: Let’s pay for the professional work that we read!
On Wednesday, November 30, pay for online access to a newspaper you read frequently. Buy a friend a subscription to an online or print magazine. Donate money to a nonprofit which does deep investigative reporting. Support real journalism! And encourage your friends and family to do the same!
I’m all for this. Hard as it might be to buy news when you think you’re already getting more than enough for free, it feels amazingly righteous to buy it for someone else. No gift keeps on giving like a subscription, and the only enemy of fake news that stands a chance against it is legitimate reporting.
Huckelberry says one inspiration for his proposal was my recent Bleader post on Belt magazine going dark just when its light was needed most—to witness the shifting temper of the Rust Belt states that would decide the presidential election.
“The lamps are going out all over Europe. We shall not see them lit again in our lifetime,” said Viscount Edward Grey as the first World War began. Lamps are hard to reignite. Keep them burning.