That’s the joy of journalism: discovering interesting information that the people holding it don’t necessarily think is newsworthy. It takes good questions, intuition, luck, and often a lot of time to get those answers.
Earlier in the week, The Wild Hunt posted an update about the Druid Daniel Scott Holbrook, based on a court transcript in which the prosecutor asserted in closing arguments that Holbrook had not downloaded hundreds of images accidentally, as he’s claimed. There were people who had that information when I wrote the original article, but for various reasons didn’t believe it to be newsworthy, ergo I didn’t find out until I saw the transcript, and only then did I start asking questions.
The occasional detractor of the news site for which I write will complain about a lack of investigative journalism. I have to wonder if such people understand what that kind of work requires. While it’s not technically difficult, conducting investigations takes quite a bit of time. Back when newspapers were the go-to source for news, there were reporters who spent weeks or months on a single story, talking to people and sifting through documents in search of the truth.
I would love to throw myself into that kind of work, but if I spent 40 hours a week on chasing down mysteries in the Pagan community, I wouldn’t have time for any other writing. I contribute to several other news sites and publications, all of which pay me a flat write per story, stories which take time to research and write. The Wild Hunt is no different in that regard. My family couldn’t afford to give up those other sources of income, and The Wild Hunt treasury isn’t big enough to pay me what I would need to do that full time.
What’s required for deeper, more thorough investigations? Money. Lots and lots of money. To turn just one reporter into an investigative machine would require more than doubling how much money is donated during the annual fund drive. I base that on my own situation, which is unusual because I’m not the primary earner. Replacing my lost income, plus adding a new reporter to the weekly rotation (because I likely wouldn’t have a finished story every week, and the ten-year-plus tradition of new content daily could not be broken) would run about $20,000.
I stand ready to do more for the Pagan communities. Are Pagans and polytheists willing to step up and make that possible?