The idea for journalismwithoutborders.com has grown from the frustration many journalists experience in being asked to cover certain stories without being able to help those involved. This frustration is experienced not just by the journalists but also by readers who may want to help but have no outlet to do so, media organisations that have calls from readers and can offer no advice on how to make a donation, and of course ultimately by those we write about and who so desperately need our help.
Twenty years ago, when many members of the journalismwithoutborders.com team started in media careers, newspapers and magazines would often carry bank account numbers for readers to make donations directly, or include telephone numbers for more information. However, legal changes that would make media organisations responsible should the money not end up where it was intended have virtually eradicated this practice.
In the past it also used to be possible for large charities to collect money for individual cases but the administration involved in separating the money for individual cases from general donations is so large that this is now no longer an option. In addition, rule changes mean that most charities have such strict regulations that to gather money for specific individual would often breach their charters of operation.
This leads to the frustrating situation for journalists who are asked to cover events where a strong personal connection is often built with those involved. The journalist’s desire to help is then conveyed onto readers or viewers but without giving them the possibility to do anything about it.
journalismwithoutborders.com has been created to fill this gap. We want to give publishers the opportunity to raise money without any risk, journalists the chance to help those they meet on a daily basis, and the readers and viewers the opportunity to help directly people whose stories have left them moved. Eventually we would like to fill our follow-up service where donors will be able to read about the results of their generosity.
Ultimately of course the most important aim is to help those we are writing about.
journalismwithoutborders.com was created to fill what we saw as a gap in the media landscape to help those in need. It is not intended as an alternative to classic charities which every year help millions of people around the world and desperately need to continue to receive your funds. It is intended as an additional avenue for money to be paid to individuals that those who have heard of their stories would like to help directly.
To find if the story you want to submit is eligible for inclusion on journalismwithoutborders.com please read our notes on submissions.
The journalismwithoutborders.com team would like to thank Central European News Ltd for their work on getting the organisation started and the first news items; Klasan Werbeagentur for the design and creation of the webpage; and the charity Helfen Wir (We Help) for agreeing to accept and administer the funds.