Freelance journalist Paige Williams tracked down an interesting story, and when she couldn’t find a buyer, she reported it on spec and then tried to sell it to a variety of publications. When that didn’t work, she launched a Web site and published the story online. The result is Finding Dolly Freed, a really nice piece of journalism about a teenager who wrote a book about living outside the economy in a sustainable fashion in 1978, and the life she’s lived since. The second edition of her book, Possum Living, will be published next week.
Williams is seeking to recoup the costs from writing the story by way of a tip jar. Her reasoning is simple enough:
I’m self-publishing this story because it had no other home. I wanted it to live in the world, not die in my notebook.
I’ll be tossing in $5, and for what it’s worth, I think the full length story is probably an awful lot better than a 1,200 word piece for the New York Times Style section.
January 9, 2010 at 2:00 pm
There is a similar idea going on with the Common Language Project. A cousin of mine was reporting on gold in Ghana and used this site to get donations for the story. I look at her work and I start to feel very humble about what I do.