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Hard times and member support for journalism

Is the recession over? It doesn't feel that way. The challenges for journalism certainly continue.

Among the economic struggles left over from what is said to have been the end of the recession last year, journalism still faces hard times of its own. 

This week's stories about findings that the recession ended in June 2009 stressed that it certainly doesn't feel like things are going well. Hiring has been particularly slow to bounce back in this weak recovery, including here in Washington.

Traditional forms of journalism, as many have said, aren't likely to recover from the hits they have taken in the downturn. That's one reason it's so important for new forms of publishing news and commentary to take hold, especially in this precarious economic environment where it's important for all of us to think clearly about the public-policy choices confronting us.

Out of the deep difficulties of change for news publications, we believe, it will eventually be possible for journalism to thrive in new forms that are even more closely connected to the public's concerns and needs. But getting there isn't easy. To provide news and discussion of the Northwest's issues as a nonprofit, independent operation, Crosscut's current membership drive is vital.

We appreciate the dozens of new and renewing members who provided us their support during the past week. During our fall membership drive, Crosscut is holding a weekly drawing for a new Kindle, for which all new and renewing members who sign up during that week are eligible. Last week's Kindle winner was Stephen Ponder. To be eligible for the next drawing, join by 11:59 p.m. on Saturday (Sept. 25). Details on membership are here. (And check the accompanying box on this page to see other prizes being offered this week.)

We hope that you, as a Crosscut reader, will take a minute to consider joining or renewing at one of our affordable membership levels. Or, if able, please consider making a larger donation. 

One of our goals is to do more in-depth reporting on the issues facing our communities in the Northwest. We intend to write and report more about the economic challenges facing people and governments here. Please consider helping us meet that goal in whatever way you can.

Joe Copeland is political editor for Crosscut. You can reach him at Joe.Copeland@crosscut.com.


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