The Seattle P-I’s Neal Modie. The Everett Herald’s Jim Haley. The Columbian’s Gregg Herrington. KING-5 News’ Robert Mak. The AP’s Dave Ammons. The Seattle Times’ Ralph Thomas and David Postman. And that’s only a partial list of Washington state political reporters who have quit the business this year alone. And in a busy, presidential election year at that.
Our state’s news industry is beginning to look like one of those post-apocolyptic movies: a desolate, pockmarked, media landscape, largely devoid of people (especially those journalist/heroes of my own post-Watergate youth)… a chaotic scenario in which bloggers like me find ourselves playing the role of Mad Max.
Well… I may be mad, but I’m not crazy, and as sorry as I am to see the sorry state of political reporting in our region, I also see a tremendous opportunity to step into the void left by the departure of Postman and his colleagues, and help take independent media to the next level. That’s why I am so excited to announce that Josh Feit is joining the HA team to lead our HA’08 Election Coverage from now through the November election.
Josh is a ten-year veteran of WA’s political press corps as a reporter and News Editor for the recently defunct soon to be struggling Stranger, and with his decade of experience HA now claims the weighty mantle of “Seattle’s Only Online Newspaper.” For the next two months Josh will be filing two to three major stories a week, plus numerous shorter blog posts, providing the kind of in-depth, independent coverage of Burner v. Reichert, Gregoire v. Rossi and other statewide races you won’t find anywhere else. Really.
How did Reichert get the NEA endorsement? What is Rossi’s exact position on choice? What exactly does the Commissioner of Public Lands do, and is it really an elected office? These are all questions to which the majority of voters don’t know the answer, because our state’s few remaining political reporters either don’t have the time or the curiosity to ask the pertinent questions.
Well, that’s now Josh’s job.
But it’s a job he can’t afford to do for free, and so after brainstorming the possibilities, I decided to roll the dice on the concept of “community-funded journalism” and promise Josh $2,500 I don’t have. And that, loyal readers, is where you come in.
This is more than just an opportunity to get the in-depth political coverage you crave; it’s an opportunity to prove to the corporate media that there is still a viable market for this kind of reporting, and… an opportunity to prove to potential investors that online ventures like HA’08 can compete for audience and dollars in this new media paradigm.
And, at only $2,500 for two months of in-depth political reporting on the contests that matter most, Josh is coming at a bargain price. That’s only one hundred $25.00 contributions… or fifty $50.00 contributions… or… well… you do the math, and then please give whatever you can:
It’s gonna be fun. It’s gonna be scary. I’ve promised Josh complete editorial independence, while reserving the right to viciously trash his posts in my own. None of us know exactly what will come of this experiment, so stay tuned as we build out the HA’08 Election Coverage page, adding new content and features.
And please, show your support for independent journalism by giving today.