Watchdogging the Filipino American Community: An Investigative Reporting Project

taguba tfTHE FILAM online magazine takes reporting to the next level: an Investigative Reporting Project for the Filipino American community in New York area. The following crowdfunding campaign is live until July 21, 2014 on Indiegogo.

Why I am asking for your support
After three years, THE FILAM would like to take its reporting to the next level. We would like to start an investigative reporting project that will explore deeper reporting on the community and engage Filipino-American journalism students or media majors who might want to write about issues. The topics are not limited to exposing problems and wrongdoings among community leaders and organizations, but will discuss in-depth serious topics that are current or of wide interest. One largely untold story is the plight of undocumented Filipinos in immigration jails. Another relevant but under-reported issue is the financial viability of Filipino restaurants: why some thrive and others can’t seem to have a command of the market. The challenges faced by Filipino nurses is another topic worth exploring: Are those challenges the same whether they work in hospitals or in nursing homes?

What is THE FILAM?
THE FILAM is an online magazine serving Filipinos in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, Founded March 15, 2011, by journalist Cristina DC Pastor, THE FILAM came to be known as an independent publication run by a member of the working press. It features mostly original content about FilAms in the arts and entertainment, business, education, fashion, food industry, health, local politics, LGBT advocacy, etc. We are widely republished by content partners in the Philippines, New York and California. It has won community journalism awards.
It was featured in Voice of America as “bridging” Filipinos in New York with their motherland during the powerful storm wrought by Typhoon Haiyan.

THE FILAM is among the publications currently featured until January 2015 at an interactive exhibit on 100 of the most influential ethnic media publications in the U.S. The exhibit, “One Nation with News for All,” was organized by the Smithsonian Institution at the Newseum in Washington D.C.

Where your support will go
Our target amount is $5K to support at least 3 to 4 years of continued investigative reporting at four articles a year. We believe the amount is not nearly enough but fair to begin with. The reporter will receive a stipend of anywhere from $300 to $400 per completed report. Hopefully, it will support the reporters’ gas money, some meals with sources, batteries, photocopying documents and other expenses Depending on the area of research, we hope to keep expenses within a reasonable level.

Why your support is important
Because of lack of resources, some in the ethnic media shy away from investigative reporting. It takes a lot of time and resources, which community newspapers do not always have. As a publication owned by a working journalist, THE FILAM would like to initiate Investigative Reporting because of a need to bring heightened discussion of community issues. The reports will spotlight specific community concerns (eg. immigration, employment opportunities, health problems, generational conflicts) and examine some issues and possible solutions. I hope that our reporting in the past three years as a continuous online publication shows that THE FILAM has done something different and that you will support this plan to report stories with more depth and analysis.

How else you can help
I understand that some of you may not be able to contribute. You may be able to help out in other ways by spreading the word about our campaign and sharing the link with your network. For those with a burning story to share and believe it needs to be told, please send a short pitch to

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