To: EPOC <>

From: Zorro <kidshelp@ICAN.NET>

Subject: [EPOC_NEWS] Direct Appeal from Donna Laframboise

Date: Fri, 12 Oct 2001 22:03:11 -0400



EPOC_NEWS:  The Canadian list for people who support the idea that

kids need both parents, especially after separation and divorce.



You may like to try sending an encouraging message to Donna at her old

address at The Post.


Writers are usually let go with telephone and e-mail address access for some


after separation as part of severance packages.


I'd suggest that we give it a try for at least one year.  For that kind of


it appears worth it keeping this journalist writing and doing useful

research, which

she knows how to get in no time.


Regards, Zorro




>From Donna Laframboise:                                        [Next]            


Dear readers,


On Sept. 17, I was among 130 employees of The National Post relieved of duty

due to budget constraints. Since then, a number of you have expressed

interest in continuing to read my weekly columns. However, given the

politically-incorrect flavor of my work, few newspapers are likely to hire



I need to decide whether to remain a journalist or to pursue another line of

work. In theory, the Internet gives me a new option: online commentator. For

many readers, especially those outside Canada, I have long been an online

presence. (Some of my columns are still available at The Post's web site by

selecting my name in the second list.)


Because a newspaper is no longer compensating me for the time it takes to

research and write my column, the rent money has to come from elsewhere. The

online commentator model is similar to the one employed by public television

stations. Without funds raised directly from viewers, these stations

wouldn't exist.


Many people have told me they consider my writing a breath of fresh air. The

question is whether a year of fresh air is worth the price of a music CD. I

don't know the answer to that question, but this is my attempt to find out.


My proposal is a modest one. Whereas some Post writers earn $750 per column,

I am proposing to write a weekly online column for $600 dollars Canadian

(see U.S. dollar equivalents). This means I would be paid, over the course

of a year, $31,200 for two days work per week. I am therefore



in search of:


 3,120 readers willing to send me a $10 cheque or

 2,080 people willing to send me a $15 cheque or

 some combination of the above


At $10 a year, each weekly column will cost a reader 20 cents






Here's your chance to be an online pioneer.If you think my voice, as a

weekly columnist, is worth 20 cents a week, please send me a cheque and urge

your friends to do the same. If, by 5 January 2002, I have raised 1/3 of a

year's pay, I will commence writing a weekly column that will appear on this

web site. The column:

 will be 750 - 1,500 words long (standard newspaper length is 700-850)

 will appear every Tuesday morning by 8 a.m. Eastern Standard Time and

 will be of the same high quality that characterized my weekly 1992-1996

Toronto Star columns as well as my more recent National Post columns


Because a column is a contribution to a broader debate, these pieces will be

available to everyone visiting the web site. This means people who send me a

cheque will be subsidizing non-payers in the same way those who send money

to public television stations subsidize viewers who watch for free. (It's

not about whether everyone pays. It's about whether enough people are

willing to pay to make this a viable use of my time.)


My address is:

Donna Laframboise

429 Danforth Avenue, Suite 415

Toronto, Ontario

M4K 1P1



                                Other things you should know (the fine print):


 I will cash the cheques shortly after they arrive and deposit them in a

separate bank account

 I will post the accumulated totals on this web site each Friday beginning 9

Nov. through to 5 January 2002

 if, by 5 January, the goal of 1/3 of a year's pay ($10,400 Cdn./$6,900

U.S.) has not been achieved, the project will be abandoned


 in such an event, I will not be able to refund your money due to the costs

associated with mailing potentially hundreds of cheques in more than once

currency back to more than one country

 instead, the money raised will be divided equally between two charities,

the American Red Cross and ABC Canada. Afterward, I will scan in and post to

this website the receipts received from these groups








If we meet our 1/3 goal by 5 January:


 we will need to continue recruiting new paying readers prior to the end of

March 2002

 on each Friday during February and March, I will post the accumulated

totals of new money received

 should these funds not add up the remaining 2/3rds ($20,800 Cdn./$13,900

US) by Friday 29 March 2002, the money raised between 5 January and 29 March

will be divided between the two charities, as above, and I will stop writing

the column







Should we make it through the first year successfully, I will pursue

creditcard or e-payment options for 2003



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