(Image via Reuters)
The killing of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown is threatening to engulf the entire nation in a political crisis of epic proportions. Ferguson, Missouri is descending into chaos, with the police firing tear gas at increasingly angry protestors, reports of looting, and tales of serious corruption. It's a fascinating, terrifying situation that reveals much about America and its troubled history of race relations. It is truly an 'American Nightmare' playing out live on the streets of St. Louis.
We at The Daily Banter think it is an incredibly important topic to cover, and for that reason we'd like to appeal to our readers to help us support Chez Pazienza, who will be leaving Los Angeles this afternoon to go to Ferguson.
Chez has extensive experience reporting in the field; he covered 9/11 at Ground Zero for NBC News (living out of a hotel for several months), was in London after the bombing on 7/7 for CNN, and covered Hurricane Katrina as part of the network's Peabody Award-winning team.
His uncompromising, powerful voice will provide unique insight into events in Ferguson, and his rare ability to make sense of tragedy is, we believe, needed more than ever. Chez will be filing written and video reports daily, doing interviews and helping provide context on events on the ground.
However, we are too small an outfit to send Chez to report for us, so he has gone on his own initiative, and with his own money. I have also personally contributed to the trip, along with other Banter writers, estimating it will cost roughly $1,477. We run on a shoestring budget, and given I'm not paying myself anything, we can't afford to foot the bill entirely.
If you like what we do and want to support actual journalism, please pitch in what you can.
Here's the breakdown of the costs:
Car rental: $240
General expenses: $250
This could potentially be a very dangerous trip for Chez given the chaotic nature of the crisis, and the reports of police violence against journalists. For that reason, all proceeds are going directly too him. Banter will not take any money, and we will also handle any Paypal transactional fees. Donate by clicking the yellow button below:
Thank you, and check back soon for Chez's updates from the field!
- Ben Cohen, Editor-In-Chief
Good luck, Chez.
UPDATE: some people have contacted us saying the paypal button isn't working. It has been fixed so please try again!!