Crosscut depends very much on the support of our annual members. Donations are tax-deductible and are easily done on line. Please consider a year-end donation to help us meet our annual budget goals. Thanks to those whose gifts over $100 yesterday met the $1,000 match for the day.
Your financial support is critical to us and our mission of sustaining high-quality journalism and enabling civic problem-solving in Seattle and the Northwest. As an annual Member, you will enjoy numerous benefits, such as free parties, which provide a chance to meet newsmakers and writers and to join a lively discussion, discounted tickets to events for Members, and other benefits detailed on the Member Page.
The drawing today (Dec. 28) will be for a pair of guest passes, and a guided tour, for the Wing Luke Museum, with its rich exhibits of Asian Paciic-American history and traditions. The winner of the drawing Tuesday, for the same prize, is Jacques White of Seattle.
Seattle has lost two dailies (The Post-Intelligencer and the Eastside Journal) in the past three years, and those that remain have whittled down critical watchdog coverage and such things as arts reviews. Since the number of working journalists in America peaked in 1989 at 56,900, one in three newsroom jobs has been eliminated. The loss to our democracy is immense.
That's one reason Crosscut was started in 2007 and why we think it so very important that quality new websites flourish and find generous sources of revenue. Annual Memberships are the key factor in this new model. We are all in this venture together.
Another reason for starting Crosscut, and for making it a non-profit enterprise, is our interest in practicing "journalism in the public interest," one focused on the search for solutions, an under-represented part of the news menu. It is all too easy to focus reporting on impasses and the hot accusations that flow from the polarized extremes. It takes more digging to find and assess the efforts to find solutions, and to present them fairly and critically.
We mean to counter the reflexive cynicism that is one of the reasons there is so little trust in government or in civic-minded individuals who get involved in public life. We are also committed to helping people find ways they can get involved in fixing problems and meeting inspiring folks who are making things better.
This year we started our "activation engine" at the end of many stories, steering readers to effective nonprofits in the topic area as listed in The Seattle Foundation website. More to come in 2012, including forums with a forward focus on finding practical pathways to improvement.
Crosscut members are the lifeblood of our brand of non-profit journalism. Your tax-deductible gifts enabled us to add three new positions in the past year and expand our writers (now about 75) and the original stories we put up each day. Your donations let us to start new ventures, such as extended investigations into big stories like the coal port controversy and poverty issues.
Our goal is to help you make sense of all the information you are confronted with every day. Please be generous.
Please also consider becoming an Evergreen Member, who donates monthly or annually until you cancel or modify this commitment. You can simplify your life and help us reduce administrative costs. Your contribution is automatically charged to your credit card and continues uninterrupted until you request that we discontinue or change it. Minimum monthly donation is $10. You can also donate on a monthly schedule for as little as $5 a month.
If you decide to become an Evergreen Member we will send you a gift, a 20-ounce aluminum sports water bottle with the Crosscut logo. Each year there will be a special cocktail party for Evergreen Members to meet some of our writers and newsmakers. Thanks for considering this new option, which represents a full investment in the outstanding news coverage and commentary you expect and deserve.
Donating is easy to do online. Just go to our Donate page.
I'm grateful for your help, and I salute our wonderful staff and writers who have made Crosscut into (if I may say so) a civic treasure. I wish you all good cheer for the season and the New Year.