Don't let Michigan journalism die. Please support Bridge Magazine.

The back of a t-shirt saying "Rope. Tree. Journalist. Some Assembly Required."

Thank you for reading Bridge Magazine. Now – more than ever – Bridge needs your help.

Your tax-deductible donation today assures Bridge can fill the news void in 2017.

Your donation goes twice as far – thanks to a matching pledge by the Michigan-based Dow Foundation.

Donations from loyal readers like you helped Bridge grow into Michigan’s leading nonprofit provider of news that matters. In the year ahead, the thoughtful, nonpartisan, fact-based, in-depth news provided by Bridge is more important than ever.

The most divisive presidential election of our lifetimes demonstrates the crying need for credible news that breaks out of the often hyper-partisan echo chambers so prevalent today. Yet, just one week after the election, both Detroit newspapers announced massive cutbacks to their news-gathering operations. Bridge isn’t going to let credible news coverage die in this state.

Bridge is the 2016 Michigan Press Association “Newspaper of the Year.” When Bridge used reams of government documents to publish a comprehensive Flint water crisis timeline, one of the investigators in the case called it “an incredible resource – where I’m pointing everyone who wants a detailed account of what happened.” When Bridge revealed this fall that tax dollars meant to help the poor are used in Michigan to pay college tuition for upper-income students, reader Le Roy Barnett responded: “Great investigative reporting. Were it not for Bridge, who would have told us?

Who’s going to tell you? Who’s going to watchdog politicians and government? Who’s going to tell you how your schools are performing? Who’s going to tell you how your tax dollars are spent? Who’s going to inform you about changes in the Michigan economy? Who’s going to keep you apprised of health insurance overhaul? Who’s going to respectfully share the diverse perspectives of Michigan’s ten million residents?

Increasingly, the enormous burden of thoughtful, nonpartisan news gathering and analysis in Michigan falls on Bridge. We publish hundreds of in-depth reports – every year. But the burden grows – every year.

With your help, Bridge will meet that burden in the uncertain times ahead.

Here’s an alternative… A professional journalist from the Reuters News Agency took this photo at a political rally in early November. We can silence journalists by lynching them. Or journalism can be silenced by lack of readership and public support. If you believe in democracy, if you believe in the First Amendment, if you believe in an informed public, we urge you to view this T-shirt message as a call to action… Let’s erase this hateful and un-American impulse… Let’s change it to: “Hope. Read. Revive Journalism.” Some assembly is still required. That’s why we so urgently seek your support.

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Comments

Kevin Grand
Tue, 11/29/2016 - 8:56am
Ummm, Mr. Bebow? Regarding your alternative: Given the overwhelming attention by the media on the imminent and inevitable election of one President Hillary Rodham Clinton (I'd be more than happy to include more than a few links if you are unable to locate any of these examples on your own), why are you so surprised at the backlash against journalism in general? Compounding this problem is the "selective" reporting of what journalists feel is worth reporting. Your thoughts?
Ron French
Thu, 12/01/2016 - 10:37am
Um, Mr Grand, Thanks for reading Bridge, and thanks for your question about what journalists feel is worth reporting. Here at Bridge, we feel data-driven analysis of Michigan's education system is worth reporting. We feel revealing that tax dollars meant for the poor are being used for state scholarships to wealthy college students is worth reporting. We feel analyzing the truthfulness of political ads, in our Truth Squad feature, is worth reporting. We feel comparing Michigan's system for funding cities to systems in other states, where cities are less likely to tumble toward bankruptcy, is worth reporting. We feel chronicling the struggles of a college student who chose to be homeless so he could afford tuition is worth reporting. Thank you for providing a link to what I suspect you feel is a more unbiased source of news than Bridge, which has on its banner "exposing and combating liberal media bias." If you feel that is a news site worth supporting, I encourage you to open your checkbook. If you or others feel that Bridge is valuable to the people of Michigan, then we'd be happy to thank you for your support. Ron French, senior writer. Bridge Magazine.
Kevin Grand
Fri, 12/02/2016 - 5:17am
Mr. French. Obviously, the sarcasm of linking to that specific page from my last post was lost. The gist of what I'm trying to get at here is that you cannot make any claim of being "unbiased", when you prominently post a picture that only reinforced the general frustration/disgust (take your pick) from Americans at what they read, see and hear in the media on a daily basis. I get that the image was included for "shock value". But an "unbiased" source would have included some balance or just simply not included the image at all and just stuck with the bulk of the message posted above it.. And based on the results of last month's election, if your purpose was to convince people to contribute, do you really want to alienate half of your potential donors? Just something to think about.
Nancy Derringer
Fri, 12/02/2016 - 9:09am
What photograph are you talking about? I'm confused.
Kevin Grand
Fri, 12/02/2016 - 12:46pm
Ms. Derringer, The "Rope. Tree. Journalist.Some Assembly Required." T-shirt taken at a Trump event While I don't agree with that particular meme, I've spoken to enough Trump supporters to know exactly where they are coming from when a message like that does appear.
Nancy Derringer
Fri, 12/02/2016 - 2:24pm
OK, gotcha. I'm still puzzled what you think would be the "balance" to that picture, but I draw a bright line at lynching.
Kevin Grand
Sat, 12/03/2016 - 9:23am
There wasn't. But I can tell you that some of those Trump supporters whom I had dinner with last night (and also saw this page), didn't have anything kind to say about it.
Sarah Shoemaker
Thu, 12/01/2016 - 4:41pm
I'd like to contribute to Bridge magazine, but by check, not credit card. Please give an address.
Nancy Derringer
Thu, 12/01/2016 - 5:56pm
Sarah, the Center for Michigan's office address is 4100 N. Dixboro Rd., Ann Arbor, MI 48105 And thanks in advance.
Dot Potter Barnett
Sun, 12/04/2016 - 8:52am
I know many Trump supporters who would be appalled by the message on that T-shirt. However, I think it is fair to say that most people who support Trump do not trust the established media because of perceived bias toward Democrats. The way I see it, these people typically are conservative and anything reported that doesn't agree with their fundamental outlook is biased. So any site like factcheck.org, truthorfiction.com, snopes.com, etc. which debunk their beliefs are biased and therefore must be liberal in origin. So where do these people get their information? Enter Fox and associates, and the myriad Faux (Fake) news sites that have been springing up on social media. That attitude is obvious here in Bridge in many comments, also. If facts don't agree with their beliefs, it must be that Bridge is biased toward liberals, also. I fear for the free press in America these days. Good for Bridge for staying on course! Christiane Amanpour: 2016 Burton Benjamin Memorial Award Acceptance Speech is worth a listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnu-rDWkNEc&feature=share
Jan Barney Newman
Sun, 12/04/2016 - 10:37am
Ms. Barnett, thank you for your remarks. Those of us who appreciate the quality of the reporting in the Bridge are inclined to be grateful in silence. I also appreciate your link to Christiane Amanpour's Acceptance Speech as it was referred to yesterday in the Knight-Wallace Journalism Fellows panel discussion at the Ross School of Covering Trump in a Turbulent Time. It is a time of real concern. If we can't count on a credible data-driven free press, democracy is a lost cause. I'm concerned about the loss of civility expressed in the controversial picture discussed in previous comments and the animosity toward others shown in some of the campaign rallies. I'm glad to agree with you in your support of the Bridge.
Kevin Grand
Sat, 12/17/2016 - 10:33am

Mr. Bebow,Duane had brought up an interesting point that had not been addressed yet.Just so there is no confusion, here it it again:<i>"I wonder if that T-shirt was worn by a supporter who offered it as a metaphor for frustration with the news media and not something to be taken literally."</i>I'm going to be meeting with a few more friends who are Trump supporters over the Holidays (some of whom I've already spoken of). We talk about politics (obviously) and I'll be sending a link to this page with a note to check out your comments above and ask them to get back to me with their take on what you have written. If they are anything that can be reprinted here, I'll be sure to send them along.As for "tightly cropping" an image, I'm not sure what difference that will make when that very same image was readily available over at <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/donald-trump-press-threat_us_5820e46... rel="nofollow">HuffPo</a> and <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2016/11/photos-of-the-week-1151111/5074... rel="nofollow">The Atlantic.</a>A friendly suggestion: if you (or anyone else on the staff at The Bridge) want to include a potentially controversial image in the future, be upfront about it and leave it "as is".