Today we’re launching our annual membership drive at TPM. (TLDR? Click here and join.) If you have already subscribed and become a member, we truly appreciate it. Since 2015 you have helped us grow our membership numbers from just over 3,000 to now exactly 30,670 members. That has made us a model of what independent media organizations can do focusing on members as the news media staggers in the face of ad industry woes. It is critical that we add 2,000 new members by the end of the calendar year (bring us to 32,700 total members, to be precise). And we hope to do most or all of it during this drive. This is critical for our finances, for our team’s effort to build a robust and sustainable business model based on memberships. But it’s also about something beyond us.
A vibrant, free press is critical to a democracy and open society. Today that is not simply true with respect to government coercion and laws that support press freedom. It’s no less important that journalism of all sorts has viable business models to sustain it. This applies to the full spectrum of media organizations. But we are here as one critical type: truly independent and engaged political news journalism. We are not owned by a big corporation. We’re not one of a diversified list of media properties. We don’t have capital and advertising “synergies” to draw on. Because of that we also won’t get turned upside down or sold off or shut down because some corporate board grows bearish on media properties or has some hot new strategy. You’ve seen that happen to lots of other publications. We do what we do solely because we believe this kind of political journalism is important and worth doing. We are truly independent. It’s just us. That’s why you see us plowing such time into critical issues like voting rights, the Census litigation, months of reporting on Rudy Giuliani’s antics in Ukraine before the story exploded last week.
If you’re a regular TPM Reader and haven’t subscribed or subscribed and lapsed, I’m asking you to take a moment today and become a member. It’s just $50 a year or $4.99 a month. Just click right here. You get lots of great member-exclusive content. You’re also supporting us and what we do. But more than that you’re supporting what we represent: truly independent and engaged political news journalism. You’ve probably thought it, maybe decided it was a good idea but didn’t get around to it. Please make today the day. Just click right here.
Over the coming days you will hear from all of our editors about what they do, why we do it and why your memberships are so important to their work. We have a great, dedicated, talented team of journalists. You see their work every day indirectly. But I want you to hear directly from them about the importance of what we do and the big plans we have for the future with our future staked on you.