Baby payola


Our beloved daily newspaper has found a new way to raise money – charge people to vote for their baby’s photo to be in the paper’s new calendar. It’s part of the new website. You pay 25 cents to vote – and you have to vote at least $5 worth, if you vote online. Each baby with at least 150 votes will appear in the 2008 PcolaBaby Photo Calendar, published by the Pensacola News Journal in Education (NIE) program, which I’m sure will also be sold.

According to “All proceeds from this fundraiser will benefit the literacy efforts of the Pensacola News Journal in Education (NIE) program.”

Little known fact: The papers bought with NIE funds for local schools count towards the daily newspaper’s circulation figures.

I guess I really shouldn’t be upset. It is a brilliant idea for a fundraiser. However, it seems a little odd for a corporation making billions companywide and millions locally to charge people for their baby photos to benefit their own charity. Do we have any statistics to show how the PNJ NIE has improved literacy or FCAT reading scores? If so, then go baby go.