Crosscut writers don't just report the facts. They don't line them up on opposing sides to concoct the artificial “balance” that often oversimplifies mainstream news, either. And they don't build fortresses of reasoning meant to be the last word on a subject, closing the gates against further thought.
In Crosscut's approach to the news, you find what my brother, a challenging partner in all kinds of dialogue, likes to call “tentative clear pictures.” From available information the writer creates a vision that makes strong sense at the time of writing, but that stays open to re-vision as new facts and reasons turn up.
This is where you come in. Your comments stretch the boundaries of a story, shifting peripheral elements to the center or the center to the periphery. You add new facts or place old facts in a new light.
This sociable engagement with Crosscut stories is especially important when they touch on social services and the people who need them. When a writer or commenter's reasoning about poverty has been chilly and abstract, you bring up its impact on real human lives. Where sentiment has softened logic, you press for a sharper edge. You remind readers that treating needy adults like children is as counterproductive as ignoring their pain, or that it's futile to expect people to pull themselves up by their bootstraps when they have no boots.
In short, Crosscut needs you. At this time of year we mean it in a double sense.
We need your voice in a public conversation that sets a remarkably civil example for online journalism anywhere. In tough economic times it's easy to sneer at a story about devoting short-term resources to people caught up in long-term socioeconomic problems — say, investing in kids and families to give the rising generation a shot at self-sufficiency. But when tight budgets make tempers short, Crosscutters can rise to the thoughtfulness that keeps a good conversation going.
As vital as your voice is your financial support. Become a subscribing member, or renew your membership. It's the only way to make sure Crosscut's “tentative clear pictures” of what's happening in the Pacific Northwest will continue to be offered to the wider public — and continue to be publicly, thoughtfully reshaped.
Become a Crosscut member today. Click here to learn how to call, email, mail-in or go online to make a donation. Crosscut is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
This is our 2013 spring membership drive.