The Pandemic Democracy Project was an emergency initiative created to allow BINJ to continue its core mission—producing hard-hitting journalism while educating and engaging the public to help rebuild the local news infrastructure around Boston and Massachusetts—during the coronavirus crisis. It concluded operations in 2021.
The original background text for the PDP follows:
One of the signal features of our current situation is that the rolling collapse of local commercial news media is now accelerating as the businesses it relies on for advertising has largely shut down in the face of social distancing and stay at home policies in response to the pandemic.
As such, we have been recruiting professional and amateur journalists to provide breaking coverage of key societal institutions—government, corporate, social, and cultural—in communities in and around Boston. We have also been recruiting student journalists who have all had to leave their colleges and return home—leaving them with little to do and few prospects for internships through at least spring and summer 2020.
We devoted $10,000 to this new initiative at its launch in March 2020. We have been paying $100 (and up) per article participating journalists have produced since that time. And we have now made PDP a part of our annual budget until the pandemic is over. We are raising more money as we go along to continue covering subjects of local interest as they relate to the coronavirus crisis. In this fashion, we are doing our small part to support some of the many Mass journalists who were already struggling before the crisis, but have now abruptly found themselves out of work.
We are featuring all articles produced by our journalists here on the BINJ website, binjonline.org, and syndicating them for free to all public-spirited news outlets—notably DigBoston, as well as other local partners including Brain Arts, Spare Change, and El Planeta in Spanish, and also local alternative weeklies across the country.
Journalists and journalism educators who would like to work with the Pandemic Democracy Project should contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org immediately.
Massachusetts community news outlets that would like to partner with us should do the same.