When the Sudanese government started bombing the Nuba Mountains of southern Sudan, foreigners were evacuated, but Ryan Boyette, a 30-year-old from Florida, secretly stayed behind. Boyette, who was profiled by Nicholas Kristof this past October in The New York Times, used a solar powered laptop and satellite phone to communicate information that he and 15 others collected to human rights organizations and journalists in the Western world. This area is cut off from both aid and media coverage, which is why Boyette launched a Kickstarter called Nuba Reports. After passing the $20,000 goal in one week, Boyette upped the ante a bit: “Our fundraising goal during the next 40 days is $40,000 which will allow us to concentrate solely on our work rather than fundraising over the next year.” The money will help to “build the site, train the reporters, buy important reporting equipment, and hire editors to help us create compelling frontline video and text dispatches in both Arabic and English through the end of the year and beyond.” (Deadline: April 15, 12:38 pm)

FrackNation, which started with an ambitious ask of $150,000, is already over the $175,000 mark. The film is meant to counter Josh Fox’s Gasland, a documentary about the environmental fallout from fracking, which famously shows people lighting their tap water on fire. “It turns out people have been lighting their water for centuries in America,” says filmmaker Phelim McAleer in the Kickstarter pitch. The project will feature interviews with people around the country who welcome fracking to their backyards, and will report on the benefits of this form of natural gas extraction. This idea has clearly hit a nerve; FrackNation has almost 2500 individual backers. (Deadline: April 6, 9:01 am)


A project called DL Cast, which is pitched as an “online-only newscast” covering “issues the establishment media refuses to cover” is asking for $10,000, but it doesn’t inspire much confidence with its 140-word description. (Deadline: Mar 30, 11:12 am)

In other less-than-thorough pitches, a 117-word explanation for a blog about “the potential rewards and pitfalls” inherent in online dating services has raised zero of its $1,700 goal. “As a former professional dating coach, blogger, and dating expert, I’m uniquely situated to see if these services are a scam or a legit way for busy professionals to find love,” reads the “about” section. Backers receive a “one-hour personalized phone dating consultation.” (Deadline: Mar 22, 6:10 pm)

OccupyKISS: anarchist blog from OWS has raised $20 out of its $3,000 goal. The projects creator, Shazz Baric, writes that the money will be used to “replace a laptop that the NYPD broke when it forcefully evicted myself and 200 others from Zuccotti Park,” as well as “provide me the stability to spend the next two months catching up on the notes that I’ve taken since being a part of this movement,” but makes no real promises for what will be produced. “I hope to share the perspective I earn in the form of a 70-100k word book.” If you want people to pony up, you have to use a better verb than “hope.” (Deadline: Mar 31, 9:41 am)

Tiny News is asking for $35,000 for a “Mobile 2.0 platform, which crowdsources citizen journalism,” but so far has only raised $20. “You can take a photo or a video in the street, enter 140 character length structured stories on who, what, when, where, how, and why,” reads the about section. I’m going to assume the “citizen journalism” is unpaid. Those who pledge get “Free classified advertising” in exchange for their support. The pitch never does get around to explaining what the $35,000 is for. (Deadline: Mar 31, 6:33 am)

Out of time:

Alysia Santo is a former assistant editor at CJR.