As readers will know, I think journalism- in the sense of actually telling readers things they don’t know but ought to- is both rare and excellent. I also think that most of the paths journalism used to come to us are now blocked by a poverty of resources and ideas.
So that’s why I was delighted to support the Guth magazine project on crowdsourcing site indigogo. Gerard Cunningham (@faduda) and Jason Walsh are attempting to do something new (which is good) and something good (which, frankly, is new) in the world of Irish journalism. They want people to pay (modestly) and in exchange be given news actually worth paying for.
I’ve known @faduda for years now, online and occasionally over coffees too. Let me tell you this; he is a pain in the neck. And, if we get this project over the line, he will be our pain in the neck. He will run a magazine that is neither cranky (years of careful court and tribunal reporting tends to beat any flightiness out of a person) nor meaningless. What it will be- I am certain- will be relentless. Relentless in asking questions, in finding things out, in not giving up.
But he’s not in this by himself. Take Jason Walsh. I’ve actually been interviewed by Jason a few times about law things (with the disorientatingly strange result that my quotes appeared in the Christian Science Monitor). On every occasion I encountered a person who was coming to a story in order to first find out what was true and then tell people about it. I never got the sense he had decided what his story was going to be and was looking for quotes to justify that predetermined narrative.
Speaking to him, I imagine he wears a brown fedora with a “Scoop” card in the brim. He is a newsman. And that’s rare (and precious) in a world of celebrity journalists.
We urgently need an voice in the media with an attention span, one with a memory. If Gerard and Jason are offering to give us one, I am happy to put my money towards Guth and happy to urge you do consider doing the same.
I’m happy to do that because I’m confident that if Guth gets the chance it can become the voice we need.