I hope you put Crosscut Public Media on your stack of donations to be decided upon in the waning moments of tax year 2009. We needed your help to finish our year-end mini drive to raise $20,000, and we have met that goal. Donations at any time are tax deductible, go to the excellent cause of Crosscut's public-interest journalism, and earn you tiered Member benefits such as free parties. It's easy to donate online or by mailing in a form on our Donate page.
We've ended our first year as a member-supported, community-driven media company, Crosscut Public Media. It's been an encouraging year, despite all the problems of a poor economy and a media-skeptical climate. But Crosscut has been able to staff up, adding a new editor (Mark Matassa), executive director (Jill Mogen), operations director (Marilyn Hoe), and (next week) a technology whiz. Readership was up 27 percent in the fall, owing to lots more features and new, more diverse writers in each daily edition. Thanks to you, our first Membership drive last month went well beyond our goals. Thank you all, very much.
Still, there's lots of twists and turns in a start-up, particularly where the road maps are still being designed and in these tough times for all media. The latest one for Crosscut was the loss of our ace deputy editor, Mark Matassa, who leaves next week to a new job as Mayor Mike McGinn's communications director. We loved having Mark as a wonderful and caring editor for our 40-some writers, and we'll try to forgive the new mayor — this being the season of kind thoughts — for raiding him away. I'm going to conduct a search for the next month or so for a permanent replacement for Mark, so feel free to pass the word to a talented friend to contact me. We'll fill the slot with one or two interim editors, to be announced shortly, who will hold down the position during the search time (and be candidates themselves).
Speaking of jobs, Crosscut is also about to open up positions for interns in membership, advertising, and editorial. These typically run for six months, have some earning opportunities (such as ad commissions or placing freelance stories), and offer good experience working with professionals. Hours are flexible. We'll post details shortly, but feel free to send inquiries directly to me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I also invite suggestions for how Crosscut can improve in the coming year. One of the great pleasures of writing for Crosscut is knowing how informed, smart, and independent-minded our readers are. Here's a recent example of some bracing advice sent in (along with a check for a Charter Membership) by a Ballard reader named Chuck Richards. It inspires me. May it inspire you to write! (And to donate!) Meanwhile, Happy New Year to you all.
Mr. Richards writes:The Seattle area needs an independent, progressive voice to inform readers who are involved in civic life. Here's what I am looking for:
- A source that can tell us when those in power are misusing our money and trust to suit their campaign contributors.
- A source that can tell me when a union-backed candidate for the Port of Seattle is exceptional and when one is not competent, or when a school board member is defending the interests of minority students and parents, or is she is disputatious.
- A source that selects experts like Doug MacDonald to write about our distinctive transportation needs in the Puget Sound area.
- I also steel myself to read Ted Van Dyk, with whom I disagree about 50% of the time. (That's good for me to be challenged.)
You offer a great resource, and I'll continue to talk you up with all my friends. Good luck in the coming year.