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MW Gives Project 2017: Helping Michigan read newspapers again

In Martin Waymire Gives Project by martinwaymire

Our holiday tradition at Martin Waymire is to support organizations that make Michigan a better place.

For eight years, our “MW Gives Project” has been our way to demonstrate the true meaning of the season, to give gifts of gratitude that seek to uplift the human spirit, address an important social need, or that support a worthy charity or human services organization. You can read about our 2016 Gives Project here!

This year, our tradition continues — with a twist.

Our 2017 Gives Project is to help Michigan read newspapers again.

The gift of real news

Why gifts of newspapers? Because real news — journalism — matters. Newspapers and a free press are essential to the foundation and defense of all democracies and all free people. And journalism is under assault in the very nation that protects freedom of the press in the First Amendment to its Constitution.

Newspapers inform, inspire, anger and question, and they perform an essential check on government. They make mistakes and sometimes get things wrong, no doubt, but their stories are generally pretty darn accurate. Contrary to the bellicose rhetoric of our time, real newspapers don’t make stuff up. (If you believe real newspapers traffic in fake news, we urge you to stop reading this now. Despite the fact that you are flat wrong, we wish you a happy holidays.)

It’s no secret that state and local daily newspapers have fewer reporters covering the news, and readership numbers have slumped.  That’s a bad combination for democracy, especially as we head into the 2018 elections. Michigan needs watchdog reporting that holds elected officials accountable. Michigan needs readers who value fact-based, unbiased reporting.

The 2017 Gives Project, with a budget of $5,000, will fight fake news and support Michigan journalism by:

  • Donating subscriptions to MLive for full digital access to its eight papers, and
Who will receive the newspaper subscriptions?

Michiganders who can’t afford subscriptions anymore. Michigan.com (The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press) receives frequent calls from readers seeking to cancel subscriptions because they can no longer afford it in their budgets. Many of these calls are from senior citizens on fixed incomes. We plan to help these individuals by covering 100 percent of the subscription cost for one full year.

High school journalism classrooms in Michigan. More young people need to read newspapers and real journalism. We want to make sure students interested in journalism have access to important Michigan newspapers and news magazines. We plan to select schools across the state and offer them classroom subscriptions for a year. In addition, the Martin Waymire team will host “Media Literacy Days” in select classrooms. The presentation will engage students in a discussion on fake news and how to detect it.

We also invite you to request a newspaper subscription. Want to give someone a subscription to The News, Free Press, Lansing State Journal or MLive?

Click here to fill out this form and we’ll make it happen (we will accept names until our MW Gives budget runs out, or until Dec. 25, 2017).

“The basis of our governments being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter. But I should mean that every man should receive those papers and be capable of reading them.”
–Thomas Jefferson to Edward Carrington, 1787

Stay tuned throughout the holiday season as we report on our 2017 Gives Project! And cheers to real news.