The warm sunlight and leafy shade of Pioneer Square have returned to remind me that it’s been a year since I wrote my opening July salvo as the new publisher of Crosscut. Technically I was not to begin until September, but there was urgency and so I spent my summer vacation getting underway in the new job a little early.
I am happy to report that there has been great progress, and there also remains great urgency. That is why, in part, I am writing to ask for an anniversary gift, literally. As a reader of Crosscut, please join the growing ranks of Crosscut members by making a donation of any size. We need you. Call us at 206-382-6137 or click here to give online.
As I near my first year in the role of publisher, Crosscut is just completing the midway point in our fiscal year. We have a lot to be proud of, but we still have an uphill battle to raise the money necessary to support the kind of independent, quality journalism so desperately needed in our region.
In many ways, the chart below is actually the picture of market demand for our in-depth writing and analysis about topics as far-reaching as the proposed coal terminal, the recent legislative session in Olympia, the burgeoning Eastside and the 2013 Seattle mayor’s race. Our readership has doubled since last July, as this chart shows. Our investment in covering the state capitol led to substantial readership gains, and we hope to invest in the same in-depth coverage of other communities.
This summer we announced the Crosscut Courage Awards, which will honor Northwest acts of courage in business, culture and public service. I invite you to send us your nominations and reserve a seat or table.
Earlier this summer we refreshed Crosscut’s web design, and we hope to receive a grant this fall that will help us to redesign the underlying technology of our website so that it is easy to read Crosscut.com on whichever device you prefer. In the meantime, we’ve also introduced version 2.0 of our iPhone/iPad app, which has been popular, and we've pubilshed our first e-book for your Kindle. Mobile readership is very much on the rise at Crosscut.
We’ve introduced new events like Civic Cocktail as well as news-oriented gatherings in Bellevue and Olympia. On Aug. 1st please join me as well as editor Mary Bruno, Crosscut board member Tonya Dressel and Crosscut writer Judy Lightfoot for a member briefing on our plans to report on at-risk youth in our region. The discussion and reception are 5-6:30p.m. at the Crosscut offices in Pioneer Square. RSVP@Crosscut.com to join us and get further details.
On the editorial side, two of our editors have joined the Society of Professional Journalists’ regional board of directors. And three of our writers won SPJ excellence in journalism awards. Our writers continue to be frequent guests on local talk shows.
We’ve received grants to cover (at least in part) at-risk youth as well as environmental issues in our community. A new grant from 4Culture, a Seattle-based arts funder, will enable us to produce a new series on King County history and culture. We’ve built a solid list of donors and prospective donors. We now have about 1,000 members whose donations help us to keep our content free to the public.
As publisher, I want to keep the foot on the accelerator. I believe more strongly than ever that providing independent journalism is every bit as important to our community as its very infrastructure.
Help us keep Crosscut growing by making a gift of any size. Thank you again for your support.