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This will be my briefest diary ever,

Though exhausted from ten days in court livetweeting the Phone Hacking Trial at the Old Bailey, I've just seen Annette K's diary about what happened this week.

Short version is: I couldn't pay to go to the trial every day for months on freelancer's rates ($350 a week). When people asked why I told the truth. I was flat broke. Two years of book writing and journalism on Murdoch and associated scandals may have elevated my profile (and certainly restored my faith in people) but it did nothing for my bank balance which had been depleted to zero.

Within a day - in a 'It's a Wonderful Life' moment' - they'd encouraged me to set up aindiegogo fund and then covered my costs and some more.

I'm not the story here though. Journalism is being hollowed out by free internet content. It's not actually a problem of people paying for content - it's that advertising (which subsidised most print journalism) has collapsed. $40bn has left publishing in the last 7 years. (Coincidentally about the same amount Google has earned in ad revenue)

Most journalists I know from the court are incredibly supportive. Indeed they see this as a potential new way of funding tricky investigations into subjects the MSM ignore. I think it could be. But I also realise I was very lucky. A very specific time limited service (we don't allow cameras in our courts) which appealed to a fairly large audience fascinated by the biggest media/commercial/political scandals of our  age.

But I will think about how other journalists could crowd fund their projects, and suggestions welcome here.

Finally (oh it wasn't so short this diary after all): Someone commented in Annette's diary that Daily Kos helped developed the kind of fact based, analysis-driven skills needed to break out into online journalism. I couldn't but agree more. Here, and at Motley Moose, I've learned, through sturm und drang, how people crave both immediacy, logic and veracity.

Shorter version (and I'm rambling because my fingers and mind are fried);

I learned it all on the US blogosphere.
So thanks, avatars of the fifth estate, friend and adversary who tried to keep me honest in different ways. When this maelstrom is over I'll be back bugging you more regularly.  

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