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Monday, April 08, 2024

Donate to Rapper, what's the effect?

While donations can be beneficial for sustaining independent journalism, there are potential negative effects associated with relying heavily on public donations, particularly for a news organization like Rappler which the orgnization asks donation for several years ago. Let me share some of the negative effects regarding this.

Donate to Rappler screengrab from Rappler.com website.
  1. Dependency on Donors' Agenda: Well that's depends on the size and influence of donors, there is a possible risk that Rappler's editorial decisions could be influenced by the preferences or agendas of those providing donations. This could be an oligarch, a business elite, a politician, etc. You name it. This could compromise the news organization's independence and objectivity.
  2. Perception of Bias: Public perception may be influenced by the perception that Rappler's reporting is biased towards donors. There's also possiblity that certain topics are covered more favorably due to financial support. This could undermine trust in the organization's credibility and impartiality. Since June 2023, the trust rating of 47% has been declining, even netizens calling it as crappler. Even confirmed by Politiko.com.ph of such dwindling trust rating.
  3. Financial Instability: Relying heavily on donations can make Rappler financially vulnerable, as donation levels may fluctuate over time due to changes in economic conditions or donor priorities. This instability could impact the organization's ability to sustain operations and maintain staffing levels. Philippine government ordered to close the news organization in June 2022 due to various reasons.
  4. Pressure to Please Donors: Rappler may feel pressure to cater to the preferences of donors in order to maintain their support, potentially leading to self-censorship or the prioritization of certain topics over others based on donor interests rather than journalistic merit.
  5. Loss of Editorial Independence: If donations become a primary source of funding for Rappler, there is a risk that the news organization could become overly reliant on donors' support, potentially compromising its editorial independence and ability to report on sensitive or controversial issues without fear of repercussions.
Overall, while donations can provide valuable financial support for news organizations like Rappler, it's important for them to carefully consider the potential negative effects and take steps to ensure transparency, accountability, and editorial independence in their fundraising efforts.

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