When Crosscut jumped into a new media world five years ago, few people would have predicted that it’d still be here today. It’s not only survived but, with support from readers and members, risen to take on some of the serious challenges caused by the rapid erosion of traditional news media. I jumped into this world myself three years ago when my job at the Post-Intelligencer suddenly vaporized, and happily moved to Crosscut one year later as a fulltime editor.
Crosscut writers keep pushing the public discussion forward into important areas, helping the community to address such issues. Just yesterday, when I picked up The Seattle Times at the breakfast table (yes, I still subscribe to this old rival paper, partly just to support good journalism), it was gratifying to see a front page story on how climate change and ocean acidification have hurt oysters in the Northwest. Crosscut’s Eric Scigliano had broken that story with one of his graceful, in-depth reports on April 5.
Eric is just one of the many new writers that we have added with the help of member support over the past year to the Crosscut team. (Some others are Amy Pennington on food, Kasha Semonovitch on the arts, Bill Stafford on cities, Art Thiel on sports, Martha Baskin on environment, and Eric Schinfeld on trade issues.) Our contributors now number about 75, providing well-informed, thoughtful, ahead-of-the-curve coverage of city and state affairs, the environment, social issues, and more. Among some particular emphases I have been working on this year are stories about economic hard times, public health, and coal ports (an issue that other media have finally begun to cover after some two dozen reports by Crosscut last year).
To keep growing, Crosscut needs to finish its spring Membership drive with increased membership and donations from readers like you. We need your help to keep filling the holes in intelligent news coverage, expanding the range of public discourse, and building for the future. We are down to the final days of the spring Membership drive, so if you value Crosscut, please consider a tax-exempt donation. Members have many benefits, such as discounted tickets and Members-come-free events. It's easy to donate online, and you can pay on a monthly plan if you wish.
As we celebrate our five years, we are offering some prizes in drawings for new and renewing members. Today's two winners will get a pair of tickets to Pacific Northwest Ballet's performance of Coppelia, or a pair of VIP tickets for admission to Seattle Art Museum, May 2-Sept. 2. Winners of the Thursday drawing are Erin VanBronkhorst (a $40 gift certificate for Tutta Bella Neopolitan restaurant) and Jennifer Rice (the Colum McCann event by Seattle Arts and Lectures).
And don't forget all of those taking part in the membership drive are eligible in the final prize drawing for an Xbox Kinect.
We hope to sustain and build on Crosscut's journalistic successes. Please help us keep looking ahead confidently in bringing light and informed discussion to the city and the region. We can't do it without your support.