Public information should be free, but it’s not.
I’ve shelled out hundreds of dollars recently for a portable scanner and software to copy public documents electronically. But most court records still must be photocopied at 50 cents or $1 per page.
I ask government agencies to waive photocopying fees and provide documents in a digital format to keep my costs down. But most agencies won’t go along with that. Some also charge for their time in compiling records, or even just to pay an employee to sit with me while I look through a file.
I gotta buy gas, and I gotta drive all around metro Atlanta. Also, I gotta eat, as does my family. I hope to earn a modest income from this enterprise. But I intend to offer all the public information offered on this Web site for free. No subscriptions.
That’s where you can help out. I’m singing for my supper here. If you like the tune and think it serves a good cause, you can send a donation by mail or online.
PLEASE NOTE: Financial contributions are NOT tax-deductible. AtlantaUnfiltered is organized as a for-profit company in the hope that there will be financial support for local investigative journalism on the Web. Everyone in the industry is trying to find the business model that will support public-interest journalism once the dead-trees media are gone. This site, a work-in-progress, is my contribution.
Another way to support this Web site won’t cost you a thing (other than a few minutes that you would otherwise waste on Facebook). Spend some time on this site and click on the stuff that interests you. Come back often. Tell your friends and family who value public-interest journalism. Tell them to tell their friends. Once we get enough traffic, maybe we can sell some ads and focus more of our energies on the journalism.
In the meantime, think of this as a perpetual, unobtrusive pledge drive, sorta like public radio. This is the full extent of my fund-raising. I hope you think it has enough value to make a donation.
If you’d like to send a check, our address:
P.O. Box 730
Decatur, GA 30031
For online donations, visit paypal.com. My account name there is firstname.lastname@example.org.