In the past, I have been on the other side of frustration and have lost. 

Talk to any reporter and they’ve felt that, lived, struggled with that frustration at least one time. It comes from feeling the story, wanting to cover the story beyond the doubts of editors and naysayers. 

I’m familiar with that feeling.

So today, I did a thing. Smart? I want to say yes. I donated $20 to help another reporter cover an important story. 

A website called helps connect reporters and average citizens. Folks pitch a story and if accepted, folks donate money to help make it happen. It’s like a reversal of the boss/reporter relationship.  

This isn’t a way for those doing the reporting to get rich. In fact, there are some projects there that I think are underbid. That tells me it isn’t about money but story and that’s what I’m about. 

This is the story I contributed to:
Luis Eduardo Ramírez Zavala, a 25-year-old undocumented Mexican immigrant, was beaten to death in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania in July of 2008. His death was at the hands of four white teens who targeted and beat him simply for being Latino. 

Two of those implicated in the killing got a deal from authorities while the other two faced a state trial. On May 1 of last year, a Schuykill County jury acquitted the two teens charged with third-degree murder and ethnic intimidation despite several witnesses testifying they had been the ones who killed Ramírez Zavala while yelling racial epithets and punching and kicking Ramírez Zavala in the body and head so severely it caused the victim to foam at the mouth and sustain two skull fractures. 

I don’t know the reporter doing this or the publication that will run the story.  In fact, the story doesn’t take place anywhere near me. I just know I’ve been there. I know. 

Not only have I offered my money but my time and skills as a peer review editor. Just like I really didn’t have the money, I really don’t have the time. But again, I’ve been there. And if they’ll have me, I’d love to help them how best I can. 

So this is what I did today. Stupid? Not at all. Just wish I could do more. 

To give to this project, or to know more, click here