SPJ freelancer in Iraq reaches Kickstarter goal

A Kickstarter campaign to help purchase protective gear for an SPJ-member freelance journalist from St. Louis reporting in Iraq has reached its goal, but more help is needed.

“Keep Us Alive Covering Conflict in the Middle East” surpassed its $3,000 goal with more than a week left in the campaign. Reporter Sheren Khalel has been traveling with a cameraman and a photographer to cover the continuing conflict involving ISIS militants in that country. The trio sought funds to pay for bulletproof vests, helmets, and first-aid kits.

“$3,000 won’t cover all the costs, but it will give us the boost we need to stock up on these much-needed supplies,” their Kickstarter plea says. “As we all work together, we’ve decided we won’t buy one without being able to buy three.

“As freelancers we do not have the backing of media companies for equipment, even when they are happy to take our stories and reports,” they wrote.

As of early Aug. 26, Khalel and her partners had 70 backers contributing a total of $3,385. She told the St. Louis Pro Chapter in an email that she intends to send thanks for the donations soon.

Khalel graduated with a degree in global journalism from Webster University in December. She was also an officer in the SPJ campus chapter there.

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