By Bob Moore
Politicians have made an art form of raising money by creating a distorted view of the U.S.-Mexico border. The approach relies on coded language that conjures visions of a crime- and drug-infested hellhole.
Unfortunately, the Texas Tribune, a respected not-for-profit digital news organization, took a similar approach this week when it sent an email soliciting funds for a year-long project on the border.
The Tribune has talented journalists who have done a lot of important work in recent years. And using its resources for a thoughtful, probing look at the border could be a plus for our region and Texas.
This is how the Tribune promotes the project idea on its fundraising website:
“In Texas, polling shows that immigration and border security remain voters’ top concerns. And on the presidential campaign trail, they’re never far from the headlines. But much of today’s coverage isn’t answering the fundamental question: How secure, really, is the country’s southern border? And political rhetoric and infighting aren’t bringing the nation any closer to real solutions.” (Emphasis from the website.)
So partnering with a nonprofit organization called Beacon Reader, the Tribune is raising money to fund a year-long look at the border. That crowdfunding approach is becoming more common as news organizations look for ways to pay for expensive journalism.
“With your support, The Texas Tribune’s year-long ‘Bordering on Insecurity’ project will put aside the rhetoric and search for real answers,” the Tribune says.