It's the first day of our spring membership drive, a great time — maybe the perfect time — to support our nonprofit, nonpartisan digital news organization. As I do at this moment every year, I want to tell you why I think a gift of any amount to the Tribune is good for us, better for you and best for Texas.
After nearly seven years in the trenches, we've learned a lot about what it takes to educate and inform our friends and neighbors, from Canyon to Corpus Christi, on the issues that matter to them — or ought to. We've experimented with emerging technological tools and novel distribution methods. We've integrated investigative journalism into our traditional daily beat reporting mix. We've expanded the footprint of our events suite to include more venues and locales and more types of in-person gatherings featuring elected officials and other newsmakers — but still, always, with you and people like you in the audience taking part. We've strengthened our partnerships with news organizations around the state and across the country and inaugurated new ones, believing that collaboration is the way forward. And we've refined the economic model that keeps the engine revving, focusing in the short term on a series of diversified revenue streams that insulate us against a possible economic downturn (hello, price per barrel of oil) and in the long term on sustainability. We want all the hard work and all the creativity and entrepreneurship and innovation that have been our hallmarks from the beginning to outlast those of us in charge today.
As a 501(c)(3), we're funded by foundations, corporate sponsors and individuals — wealthy and not. It's the "not" part that I like the most. No offense to the richest among us, but what really makes me happiest, what validates the effort that goes into producing everything on and off our site, is when regular folks see the value of the Tribune and make a small-dollar contribution that is meaningful to them and is absolutely meaningful to us. When they think back on what life was like in this state when there were too few reliable sources of unbiased news and information about everything going in the realm of politics and public policy. When they think ahead to the near future of Texas, to the challenges we face and the opportunities we must leverage if we want to remain the biggest, baddest and best place to live, raise a family and do business.
A contribution to The Texas Tribune this week (or any week!) is an insurance policy of sorts. It guarantees that someone will be watching those in power — beholden to no one and on behalf of everyone — not just at crisis times but at all times, when the Legislature is in session and when it's not, in election years and off years. The kind of robust, aggressive, ambitious journalism we provide is free to consume but not to create. We make it happen, but you make it possible. Give generously today. Thanks!