Hooray! Wow! Met Our Fifth Goal, On to Our Sixth: More Original Reporting

If you don’t need to be persuaded to give but simply have not gotten around to it, please proceed straight to our fundraiser page to chip in!

Thanks to your generous and speedy responses, we’ve achieved our first four targets: tech investments to improve your experience and our defenses, bonuses to our loyal guest writers (who given their expertise and caliber of their work, deserve better than underwhelming standard writer pay levels), travel and site coverage expenses for meetups and conferences; funding to improve the comments section: and providing the staffing to coverage without burning out of yours truly. Let me stress again: your donations have and continue to make all these critical items possible. And at 1291 donors, we’re nearly 90% of the way to our new goal of 1450 contributors for this fundraiser.

Our sixth goal is funding for more original reporting. Yes, I know, it may sound peculiar to ask for that at this point in the fundraiser. Shouldn’t we have sought that sooner?

The reality is that all the things we’ve asked for are essential to keep the site going as it is now and keeping it fresh in its current format. For instance, rewarding our regular writers isn’t just recognize their above-and-beyond the-call-of-duty dedication; it also helps in bringing new writers on board.

Readers have told us that one of the things they particularly value about Naked Capitalism is its no-holds-barred coverage of financial and economic news, and increasingly of the power dynamics that drive them. Consider this message from SEK:

Thank you for your amazing level of investigative reporting.

As a former financial journalist, I know there is less and less money in traditional media dedicated to complex financial matters.

We are all lucky to have Naked Capitalism to make up that deficit. A shame I have to use my Wells Fargo account to make the payment. Ironic!

Earlier today, Colonel Smithers commented:

None of the UK media, intelligentsia etc., even those in the Remain camp and/or with stake in staying/access like the City and supply chain SMEs, are doing anything like the analysis you go slog through. It’s just too much hard work and will also expose the neo-liberal nonsense that was peddled by much of the Remain MSM.

From Kip S:

Thanks for all of your amazing work!

And Jerry:

Thanks to you and your whole team for all your work and fun providing us with so much high quality information.

And from Petra:

Thank you for going above and beyond and for giving us poor souls an island of sanity, enlightenment and entertainment. I know for many, it’s our go-to hangout every day. We are so grateful!

And from E:

Looking forward to another year of you afflicting the comfortable!

One of the reasons we’ve been able to punch above our weight is the considerable and extremely high quality input we get from this community.

But as much as this site makes an important contribution via analyzing and adding expert insights to news stories, our greatest impact has come via original reporting. For instance, both of the officials we forced from their posts, the SEC’s Andrew Bowden for seeking a job for his son from the very people he regulates at an industry conference, and getting the scandal-ridden Robert Klausner to resign as CalPERS’ fiduciary counsel, both resulted from stories that we broke. We also forced an industry-wide change in private equity by shaming CalPERS into disclosing how much it was paying via one of its biggest fees, the so-called carry fee. CalPERS’ change was widely described as a landmark. Hubert Horan’s Uber series has led to reporters finally starting to question the ride-sharing company’s fundamentals.

We’d like to do more reporting, but we’ve discovered why journalists take umbrage at bloggers: An originally-reported story takes roughly four to ten times the effort of a blog post of commentary and analysis. Consider an example from the Columbia Journalism Review :

In this economic environment, greenlighting time-consuming, in-depth reports that may get less traffic than lighter-fare articles has become increasingly rare. A recent report by Mother Jones in which a senior reporter worked four months as a corrections officer exemplifies this tension. The massive 35,000-word report exposed corruption in private prisons but conservatively cost $350,000 to produce and only brought in $5,000 in banner ads.

Now we admittedly have a leg up in that NC readers have an appetite for meatier content. But even so, original reporting doesn’t just take much more gumshoe work than analysis of news. It also involves pursuing leads that often don’t pan out. And it also can require meaningful hard dollar expenses, such as paying lawyers to pursue FOIAs when the government agency gives an obviously phoney-baloney excuse for withholding documents. Even a round or two of legal saber-rattling runs into thousands of dollars.

So that is a long winded way of saying that original reporting is costly but more and more important as the mainstream media is both running into budget constraints and becoming less intrepid generally.

Our target for original reporting is $35,000. We are already $2,715 towards that goal.

Im addition to continuing with our financial services industry spadework, we would have Lambert dig even deeper into healthcare, and turn our focus even more to Silicon Valley and its financial legerdemain and its increasing, troubling role in our power structure. We’d also like Jerri-Lynn Scofield analyze important legal decisions, and to have her and Lambert keep pursuing our “code as law” beat.

So those of you who have contributed already, thanks again for your generous support, and we look forward to those NC fans who have just found out about the fundraiser to help make the site more successful.

There are multiple ways to give. The first is here on the blog, the Tip Jar, which takes you to PayPal. There you can use a debit card, a credit card or a PayPal account (the charge will be in the name of Aurora Advisors).

You can also send a check (or multiple post dated checks) in the name of Aurora Advisors Incorporated to

Aurora Advisors Incorporated
903 Park Avenue, 8th Floor
New York, NY 10075

Please also send an e-mail to yves@nakedcapitalism.com with the headline “Check is in the mail” (and just the $ en route in the message) to have your contribution included in the total number of donations.

Donate now to Naked Capitalism, whether it’s $5, $50, or $5000. If you can’t afford much, give what you can. If you can afford more, give more. If you can give a lot, give a lot. It will pay for itself, I guarantee you. This isn’t just giving, it’s a statement that you are want a different debate, a different society, and a different culture. As one reader wrote, “A small investment in our future, together.”

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3 comments

  1. Georg

    I have been unable to donate via Visa (issued by German bank). Paypal rejects the card without explanation though I can use it to online shop otherwise. I also do not possess a cheque book. Is there some other way to donate?

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Thanks so much for your willingness to contribute and sorry is is proving to be a hassle. And thanks for your persistence.

      I don’t have great options but:

      1. If you have frequent flier miles that you are willing to part with, you could transfer some to me if they are on either the OneWorld or the Delta-Air France network. I don’t fly United, which is Lufthansa’s partner (sadly Lufthansa is a much better airline than United). E-mail me at yves@nakedcapitalism.com if that would work for you.

      2. People have sent me currency. I have no idea how much if any gets intercepted, but I have gotten greenbacks, yen, Singapore dollars, and sterling this way.

  2. Dan Crawford

    Hi Yves…I have donated already, but want to congratulate NC on getting into original investigation. It is a huge step actually as far as I can tell. Kudos.

Comments are closed.