Back to Basics

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Yesterday we kicked off TPM’s annual membership drive. Obviously, we hope you will become a member. We also assume you get lots of pitches from all sorts of companies that sell all sorts of products and services. Hell, they are even selling byzantine subscriptions for printers these days. Because every company under the sun is asking you to pay a recurring fee, it seems the sales pitches are becoming downright strange. Cringe, in the lingua franca of today’s youth.

So let’s get back to basics, shall we? (Unless you are ready to sign up now, in which case you can skip the post and click here.)

What do you want from a journalism membership (or subscription)? You probably want one or any of the following:

  • Information: You want a publication that adds new information to your understanding of the world. This could come through original reporting (breaking news) or through explaining what’s going on in a way that is tantamount to new information: It gives you a new way of seeing the world.
  • Entertainment: Yes, we all want to be smarter, we all want to make the world a better place, but to paraphrase Emma Goldman, “If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution.”
  • Accountability: Journalists hold powerful people accountable and point out abuses of public trust. This is a key component of a well-functioning democracy. 

TPM does all of these things and more. Sometimes they all happen in one story, like this insane story from Hunter Walker about how — this is the actual headline — House GOPers Teamed With Conspiracist Who Called Migrants ‘Apes’ And ‘Congo Cannibals’ We specialize in stories that elicit a “That sounds really bad, but first … what?” sort of reaction. Informative, entertaining while holding powerful people accountable.

To feel that your money is going toward all of the above requires trust and transparency, which is why we publish financial information on our site. You don’t want your money to be wasted on frivolities. It’s why our reporting style emphasizes sharing as much as we can with readers. Those twin pillars of trust and transparency are present in both halves of the organization.

So, we hope you’ll join us. We’re aiming to add 1,000 new members, so maybe even tell a friend.

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