There it was. Very pure, very simple and very direct in the bio posting in LinkedIn by alt.media journalist Cat Watters. A posting that spoke to that need experienced by almost every non-mainstream journalist, blogger, photographer, videographer, audio interviewer, and artist in America -- if not throughout the world.
The pay and employment opportunities for those who write, speak, draw, paint, blog and deliver the news that MSM won't touch are either non-existent, or pitiful. Audiences which benefit from their work supply applause (thank you), but not the coin of the realm needed to pay the rent or put food on the table.
This was not the first time I noticed her request. Less than a month ago, I received a plea: "Anyone know how to raise funds? For online radio show, street filming and just plain ole passionate activism. Thank you."
"I just want to lead a simple, happy, honest life speaking up for what's right, standing up for those getting screwed. Exposing the Criminals and the illegitimate people who hide behind their fake jobs! But, who are nothing but Ego driven," she says.
Cat describes herself as an "Organic Journalist - independent, but dedicated." As for what drives her, "Dollars = Debt for the most part. That's why Real Journalism, truth, is the enemy of Capitalism."
If that assessment is spot on, this accounts for the yawning chasm between authentic journalism and what passes for it on the mainstream media. It only makes sense that counter-culture media is not well paid; capitalism does not care to fund anything which will prove to be its enemy.
Cat's criticism was more cutting
"MSM is GMO. The nature of reporting is being destroyed by capitalism and 'profit' seeking. I've always been a health and fitness person - specifically mental/emotional health which this society does not even acknowledge. As long as there is a corporate profit required, nature [journalism] and health will be compromised." As a veteran, certified Yoga instructor, this is all the more distressing to her.
For the past three years, she has been hosting the Organic News Show on Awake Radio on Tuesdays from 6-8 p.m. EST, and just recently interviewed Walter Binney and Yanis Varoufakis. In their cases, and in so many prior interviews, the consensus is that America's underlying problems are health related and exacerbated through abusive/dysfunctional relationships.
Her microphone has captured such people as Russell Brand, Brock McIntosh with Iraq Vets Against the War, Mike Peled, author of The General's Son, former NSA math coder William Binney, former CIA Analyst Ray McGovern, and even NYPD Whistleblower, Frank Serpico.
Any current Bernie Sanders reporting?
"I covered at least three or more events, including Washington Square Park, South Bronx, the block party in Brooklyn and a march which ended at Union Square with Rosario Dawson. I have more footage than I can even keep up with."
As with many independent journo's of her time, Occupy roots are showing in all this.
"Occupy merged with what I was doing in the past; mediation, health, healing, psych fitness. Family and personal relations are the micro of the macro. My job is to reveal the solutions to the larger problems by focusing on what and who is right in front of me."
But, back to the larger issue of being paid for all this hard work. What does it take to be a "real" journalist and make some "real" money? Is it Cat's lack of a media-centric college degree that disqualifies her to do what she has chosen to do, and does so well? How can it be that "credentialed" (i.e., employed) members of the MSM look down on her and others of her kind?
You know, that kind. Our kind. Any outsider who picks up a pen, quill, brush, camera, microphone or computer keyboard and dares to report on truth.
No money in that. Truth reporting is the enemy of capitalism
Acting in another capacity as a megaphone for the truth, Cat will be moderating a panel at the Upcoming LeftForum: Pulling Back the Curtain on Debt. (The Left Forum is famous for featuring people like her in an environment where only truth can survive. She suggests that we be there in NYC May 20-22.)
For those who care to, and have the modest wherewithal to support a social conscious reporter, Cat's paypal donation page for Cats Paws Journalism can be found here. Follow her on Twitter as @CatW44, and here on Facebook.
(Author note: this is the second in a series on everyday citizens who have chosen to use the medium of alternative media to question authority and to deliver stories not found on MSM. The first article was on photographer Jeff Pliskin appears here.)