We have a challenge grant today, from a generous donor, who will match dollar-for-dollar all Memberships (new or renewals) up to $1,000. So today would be a good day to succumb and join the cause: your tax-deductible donation will be doubled. This will doubly help our Spring Membership Drive, now in its third day. It's easy to donate online, and you can also schedule your donations monthly.
Today we also have a prize, two tickets to Seattle Art Museum, with its current gorgeous show of Nick Cave's giant "soundsuits" (reviewed by Crosscut's Judy Lightfoot here). The winner of yesterday's drawing, earning a $40 gift certificate at Tutta Bella, the Neopolitan Pizza restaurants, is Don Schussler of Yakima. Worth a drive across the mountains, Don!
The grand prize, from a drawing of all who join in this Membership drive, is an iPad2. All who join or renew at the $100 level will get a Crosscut designer t shirt, also worth a drive across the Cascades (though we will actually mail it to you).
You can read about these and other benefits of Membership on our Member page. We welcome Members regularly to free-to-Members parties, where you can meet fellow Members, newsmakers, and Crosscut staffers and writers. The next party is April 28, in Pioneer Square, in part to celebrate our 4th birthday this month.
Crosscut is one of the new-breed city-based online sites that are nonprofit, dedicated to "journalism for the public good," and member- and community-driven. Let me mention two aspects of this mission. One is to create a civil public square where various points of view can be well argued and respectfully debated. Crosscut itself has no editorial page, makes no endorsements, has no "party line." We want to give our readers richer data, new insights, thoughtful reporting, and more points of view — even those that sometimes challenge your own convictions.
The second aspect is to practice what I like to call "constructive journalism." There's an obvious meaning to this: trying to find solutions and pointing people to ways they can get involved, learn more, be part of solutions. The Web meaning of "constructive" is that stories tend to construct themselves before your eyes, as readers weigh in and correct the first story, writers respond, and other writers differ or advance the topic.
This is the democratic aspect of the Web, a new thing in journalism. It means passing the microphone around to many voices, including the readers and Members and other experts, not feeling that we have the last word. We also aim to be helpful by pointing you each day to dozens of good stories in other media in a popular feature of careful "aggregation" called Clicker.
As this suggests, this new model of public media means we are all in this together. Literally. We can't do Crosscut without your active readership and annual donations. Please help us sustain this effort and get better by sending in your annual Membership today, as generous as you can afford. (Remember, your gift is going to be doubled today.)
See you at the next party!