As someone who had received the Seattle P-I at my doorstep since I was a kid, I was dismayed when it went away. I have nothing against the Seattle Times, but I have always seen great value in having many voices in the public marketplace of ideas. While I am still concerned that the self selection of information on the internet and cable news continues to erode our sense of common purpose, there are signs that people want to have shared experiences again — that they want information and debates to be civil and productive.
I believe this is the promise of community journalism and the commitment of Crosscut’s publisher, editors, and writers. And I feel fortunate to be part of the team.
I am not a journalist and come at community journalism from my experiences in government at various levels. There have been many times I have tried to explain to friends and family — those not involved in government — why decisions happen the way they do, and the many restrictions that create outcomes that seem to defy common sense. Crosscut is an opportunity for me to highlight some of these barriers to common-sense government and, hopefully, provide a perspective that aids in understanding what elected and government officials and community members are grappling with as they try to solve problems.
The great thing about Crosscut is there is an opportunity to delve into these issues in a way that doesn’t happen in the mainstream media — there simply isn’t the time. At Crosscut, there is the time and the expectation by the readership and members that issues of the day will be covered by a number of perspectives with a richness of information and background. In every piece I have written thus far, I have learned just as much from the commenters as I have learned from the people I am writing about.
I value the back and forth and the quality of the comments — particularly those that disagree with my argument. As the saying goes, “he is a fool who wants to listen to the echo of his own voice.” This has, so far, not been a problem at Crosscut.
If you see value in this new kind of journalism and want to participate, I urge you to consider becoming a member. The shelf space available in the marketplace of ideas is limitless. Your contribution is needed and appreciated.