I’m here to remind you that we’re in the midst of our second annual drive for The TPM Journalism Fund and that it is super important that it be successful. We’re at the point in the drive where we’re (thank you!) pretty confident it won’t be a flop but not yet at the point where it’s clearly going to be a success. We’re on the cusp. So we need that second wind. If you TPM is important to you and you want to support our efforts, please click right here.
If you’d like to hear more, join me after the jump.
We have made great strides over the last five years totally transforming the site’s business model from one based almost exclusively on advertising to one based overwhelmingly on membership fees. But it’s not quite enough, at least not yet. That’s where The TPM Journalism Fund comes in. It plays a relatively small (in percentage terms) but still critical role in our budget, allowing us to keep our focus on original reporting and evolve with the changing news environment in ways I will describe here in the coming days.
Is this important? Yes, it’s really important, I assure you. Last year the pandemic hit just before we were planning to launch our first drive. We briefly delayed the drive as we were retooling for COVID. In the event, the Fund helped us get through the pandemic without any retrenchment and even helped us add a member of the team.
What’s less clear from the outside is that 2021 is actually much more challenging for us as organization, as a company, than 2020 was. Quite simply, after five years of the high adrenaline trauma of Trumpism people are worn out and many have checked out. This is true across the spectrum of political news media. It makes sense. Maybe Trump will return. Maybe he’ll be replaced by a more effective Trump. Maybe we’re all doomed. But for right now we have a sane, competent and compassionate President and complete if highly tenuous Democratic control of Congress and he’s at least trying to do things that most Democrats believe are deeply important. Nothing’s perfect, as we’ve been discussing in other posts in recent days. But it’s more than enough for a whole part of the country to take a deep sigh of relief and spend a while tending their own garden. That’s great. We also feel the urge. But that reality puts stresses on our finances on numerous fronts.
So again, that’s where The TPM Journalism Fund comes in. It helps us weather this period of relatively slack interest in political news. It helps us focus on what we really need to, which is both covering this new era, making sense of all its dimensions but also retooling TPM, remaking it in a way for this new era. We’ve been here before. It was similar in 2009 and 2017. To paraphrase my mentor, an organization not busy being born is busy dying. That process of re-imagining, figuring out how to be TPM in a new news reality is always important but especially important now. And you can help us do that by contributing to The TPM Journalism Fund today.
As I said, it’s really important for our organization this year. Thank you in advance from all of us. Just click here to contribute.