Black Journalist Who Quit Kenosha News Over Jacob Blake Protest Headline Crowdfunds for Own Media Site

Daniel Thompson has raised over three times what he needs to start his own media venture after his Kenosha News resignation

Daniel Thompson, the digital editor who resigned from Kenosha News Saturday after disagreeing with the publication’s coverage of a James Blake demonstration, is planning to launch his own media company and has already raised over three times the funding he sought via a GoFundMe campaign.

Thompson, who says he was the only full-time Black staffer at Kenosha News, resigned over a headline that highlighted a single protest speaker’s more violent message over what he said was a largely peaceful demonstration in the wake of the police shooting of Blake.

On Tuesday afternoon, his GoFundMe crowdfunding campaign, “Invest in new Kenosha media,” had raised over $17,000. Originally, he sought $5,000. On Twitter, he vowed to donate whatever funds he doesn’t need for the launch. Thompson didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the fundraiser’s overperformance.

“Since I resigned from the Kenosha News , many people have asked what I plan on doing next. And the truth is, I don’t know what exactly it is, but I don’t think I’m done with Kenosha. And I don’t think I’m done with journalism,” wrote Thompson.

“That said, I’m asking (and feel like an ass asking) for some assistance during this time to the tune of $5,000. I figure that’s what I need to have two months free to develop and launch new projects while being able to cover my bills, pay for medications, etc.,” he went on. “So if you want to invest in me, my journalism skills and you want a better news source in Kenosha, please donate.”

Thompson’s resignation from the Kenosha News, a Lee newspaper, came after a headline quoted a protester saying, “If you kill one of us, it’s time for us to kill one of yours.” It was later changed to “Kenosha speaker strays from message at rally.”

“The story is about the entire reaction of all the speakers and people in attendance, and that quote is one outlier falling within a flood of positive ones,” Thompson said in an interview with the New York Times.

“Let me be clear: My anger is with management. NOT the hardworking reporters, circulation, ad, media services and all of the employees at Kenosha News who take ALL the heat for poor management decisions when they have NONE of the blame,” Thompson wrote on Facebook. “Please direct your anger/outrage/complaints to management. The rest of them are my family.”