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When we gather as a newsroom, we brainstorm how to tell stories that offer a robust understanding of the issues surrounding the Pacific Northwest. We think about story lines that are missing. We think about the living pulse of our geography. We think about people.

Part of Crosscut’s mission statement is “to provide readers with the facts and analysis they need to intelligently participate in civic discourse, and to create a more just, equitable and sustainable society.” That includes providing transparency and informing the public of the scope of our newsroom endeavors. Each year, Crosscut will release an impact report to inform readers and members of innovative projects that highlight local, underserved communities, offer more thorough analysis of socio-cultural issues and help inspire a smarter world. 

If you’ve stuck with us throughout the years, thank you. Your readership and support helps keep independent, nonprofit news alive in the Pacific Northwest. If you are new, welcome. We hope our Impact Reports will help you understand what we do, why we do it and the ways that this work is felt in the communities we cover. 

How do we define impact? 

When applied to journalism, impact can be a nebulous term. As the nonprofit investigative newsroom ProPublica notes, there is “no one reliable measure of journalism’s impact.” Impact can be direct. It can mean helping readers understand the policies at the center of a teacher strike and it can mean expediting gun reform laws in Washington’s Capitol (as seen in this Crosscut report). More often than not it is indirect, an amalgamation of thorough journalism, reader engagement and luck. 

While the impact of our journalism varies from abstract to concrete, we aim to imbue our readers with knowledge to better shape, question and share their worlds. 

Why should you care? 

Sometimes, impact reports can come off as newsroom braggadocio. For Crosscut, it’s a chance to show progress. Our small, ambitious newsroom has tackled numerous projects, new and old, throughout the years. The impact report helps us establish what success looks like for those projects and how we can improve in the years to come. 

It’s also a chance for readers to tell us what we’re missing. Are there issues we should cover or stories you think need to be told? You can help shape Crosscut’s coverage. 

Are there issues we should cover or stories you think need to be told? You can help shape Crosscut’s coverage. Leave us a note here. 

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