Mon, 12/09/2013 - 12:00

Double your year-end dollars for FSRN!

As the chaos of the holiday season subsides, the end of the year approaches and FSRN is looking toward 2014 for a fresh start. We've seen such amazing commitment from people like you, people who have searched the internet and searched their radio dials for solid, grass-roots news. It's not out there.

You are among those who miss FSRN's reports from around the country and around the globe - that's why you opened this email. And you can help FSRN in efforts to relaunch, by making a year-end contribution right now.

Among those who want FSRN back is a donor who invites you to join him in making a tax-deductible donation to FSRN -- with matching money to a total of $6,000.00! He believes so deeply in FSRN that he has mined his limited resources to carve out every dollar he can to double your donation. He's a regular guy, doing his best to support his growing family. Please join him by doing what's generous for you and support FSRN, double the value of your dollars and qualify for a 2013 tax write-off in just a few clicks!

FSRN is busy working to broaden our funding base and we've made some significant progress. Community radio stations around the country have committed to directly paying for FSRN once we are back to work. We're moving forward on revenue generating side-projects. And despite the silence, we've received financial support from a wide array of individual donors from small, one-time contributions to major donations. If you'd like to be a part of renewing FSRN, you can still make a 2013 tax-deductible donation. Your support will help us get back to work bringing you the local voices of global stories you miss.

-Dec. 27, 2013 / The FSRN team

Our man in Gaza

Last month, we caught up with a veteran FSRN correspondent based in Gaza. Rami al Meghari has reported on the campaign for the rights of Palestinian prisoners in Israel, the challenges of Syrian refugees seeking entry to Egypt and he even interviewed Noam Chomsky during a visit by the professor to the Islamic University. But finding work in Gaza is tough for anyone and particularly an independent journalist. Here is what Rami told us:

FSRN has meant not only a source of income, but also a source of independence and freedom to me. By December 4, I will be 39; almost 7 years of which have been spent in working with FSRN. The radio [program], being off air for months now, sounded like a sweet dream that has ended by waking up on a bitter reality here in Gaza, where employment is more than 30 percent and poverty reaching lowest levels.

The electricity problem is paramount with about 10-hour outage per day, cooking gas is running short and prices of goods are soaring. All come with no contributions to FSRN for several weeks now.

As for my family, you know I have been giving care to my ailing wife and I have already reported on that before. Now with FSRN being off air, it has become rather difficult to properly give such a care. By early December, I will be escorting her to a Jerusalem-based hospital for the second appointment since early November. Can you imagine, spending one day in Jerusalem costs double or even triple [the] same costs in Gaza, where costs of living are much higher.

I do hope that FSRN returns back on air, so that I can keep as independent and free person, as I have ever been, being FSRN's long-time reporter.

A lot is happening in Gaza right now and most of it is overlooked by the mainstream press. We would like to put Rami back on assignment and we hope you will help.

-Dec. 20, 2013 / The FSRN team

FSRN reporters: Where are they now?

We have been keeping in touch with reporters who have worked with FSRN over the years. Madonna Virola has covered Typhoon Bopha and the struggle to stop GMO research in the Phillipines.

Virola tells us she and her family are all safe following Typhoon Haiyan. They are in Calapan City in Oriental Mindoro where there was flooding, but they were spared from the brunt of the storm. She recommends the following organizations who are doing humanitarian work in the affected areas: the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines, the Kapuso Foundation of GMA 7 TV Network and Inquirer News.

Help us bring Virola's reporting back to FSRN here and stay tuned for more updates from FSRN correspondents around the world.

-Dec. 14, 2013 / The FSRN team

A Thanksgiving update from FSRN

Happy Thanksgiving. We hope the holidays bring rest and renewal for your family  At FSRN, we're renewing our commitment to unbiased, independent news. We have been busy these past weeks, exploring options to best transition FSRN to get back to  work distributing the independent, grass-roots news you seek.

Since our last broadcast September 27th, 2013 we've surveyed our stations to find out how best we can continue to serve their communities. We heard that they miss our daily radio program. We listened to their feedback about FSRN and how we can continue to grow. We heard where we can make improvements in our content and delivery.  And we look forward to incorporating station input in an FSRN relaunch.

We also talked with a sample of stations about our funding needs and their ability to do their part.  We found many are willing to directly pay for FSRN where their budgets will allow. But station fees alone will not fully fund FSRN. We will still need other sources of income, both grass-roots and major dollars. We are also currently pursuing seed funds to carry us through a transition period during which we will continue the work necessary to establish a sustainable structure for FSRN's future.  If you'd like to support these efforts, please consider making a contribution to our transition fund.

We do want to hear from you. Please send your ideas to comments@fsrn.org or get at us on Twitter (@FSRN).

And stay tuned! We'll have more news on our transition plus updates from reporters around the world we hope to work with again very soon.

-Nov. 27, 2013 / The FSRN team