Without support, West Papua Media may have to close down in 2013

by West Papua Media eds

Supporter Request

December 23, 2012

Will you stand on the sideline, or will you help Independent Human Rights Journalism for West Papua grow in 2013?  

Friends and supporters of West Papua Media’s mission:
As the Western orgy of excessive spending and consumerism leaves full bellies but empty spirits for those lucky in the first world, independent human rights journalism projects look at the empty bank accounts and try to find pennies to hopefully continue to shine a preventative light on human rights abuses, and do what we can to give voice to the voiceless, and help them roar in West Papua.  This is the time of year when we do our sums, and see if the Editorial Team can afford to commit to another year of penury to provide robust and credible Independent journalism reporting on events, people, abuse and resistance in West Papua.

As you know, our work has been instrumental in putting West Papua into the mainstream media in 2012, including the unprecedented 7.30 Report coverage of the Densus 88 death squads.  Yet all of this has been funded by small and irregular donations from just a few people, and whilst deeply appreciated, we still have a massive shortfall coming out of personal income.  For every request of support, we perhaps receive 5% of the minimum we need to survive, if we are lucky.  Overall in 2012, we received less than 30% of our spend in private donations due to the lifesaving last-minute donations, but the rest came from our own pockets and personal loans.

We cannot continue this for much longer.  West Papua Media punches well above its weight, and certainly does it without foundational funding – we are entirely funded through volunteer donations.  We need to support our brave journalists and stringers inside Papua, we need to give them material support in terms of cameras, phones, and laptops, and phone cards for internet.  We need to pay for communications costs, equipment upkeep, websites, website registration, and now, we are also threatened with having our very name – westpapuamedia – taken away from us unless we renew a trademark.  That alone is $4000.  To cover our most basic costs we must operate a minimum budget of $2000 per month.  But we are lucky to get $300 per month in support – the rest comes from our pockets.

Do you support our mission?  Do you live in Australia – the richest country on Earth?  Do you want to see West Papuan people have their voice roar around the world?  Or do you want to sit by, while the last best chance for linking international journalists with the voice from the ground in Papua has to shut down because its Editors have spent every last cent on standing with a people?

West Papua Media may soon be forced to make a very difficult choice – to go offline at the most critical time when and where it is needed – because those who do all the work have no more money to pay for it.  From January 20, despite the need for us to stay online, if we do not have enough to pay for three months of operating costs, then you will see our homepage go blank.

Please help share the load, and help us grow for 2013.  Our mission has not changed, but our costs are going up.  We still wish to provide effective training to those who need it, to support the development of a robust free and independent media for West Papua – the basic cornerstone of a democratic society.

2012 Spend                                                                                            AUD$26,000

2012 income via donations:                                                               AUD$8375

The shortfall made up from West Papua Media editors’ personal contribution and personal loans is close to (measured) AUD$13,000, and the End 2012 debt still stands at $4500.

2013 Fundraising Goals

Yearly Survival mode (no journo support, no equipment; no training):

A$24,000

Yearly Effective mode (support for our journalists, 2 basic salaries; mirroring; equipment support; 2 effective training groups per annum): 

A$200,000

Are you going to help us approach the support we need to grow?

Crowdfunding campaign managers:  if you can help with your time, please get in contact with us as soon as possible at editor<@>westpapuamedia.info

You can donate via paypal by clicking on the link here  www.westpapuamedia.info/donate
Australian and European bank details are also here, but for international transfer details please email to info<@>westpapuamedia.info
European donations are also tax-deductible for EU residents.

Thank you for your support

Nick Chesterfield

Founding and Coordinating Editor

West Papua Media

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