Raw Story Redesigned: Help us continue the fight

Published: Tuesday March 14, 2006
We're almost to our goal!
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Dear Raw readers,

Thanks for helping make 2005 a great year and giving us the opportunity to revise our new look. Thank you also for your word of mouth and donations. While we do bring in funds through our advertising partners, Raw Story – along with many others in the “blogosphere” – simply could not function without the support of our readers.

We're excited to finally introduce our new design in addition to our ad-free accounts. Those who donated $50 or more in our last drive will be receiving passwords in the next few days. We really appreciated your feedback after our first attempt earlier this year and we have incorporated your ideas into the design of the new site -- particularly trying to get more stories above the fold so you can get the latest stories with a quick scan. We hope you like our new look and we appreciate any feedback you provide.

To help pay for our new packaging and to rehire a new full-time reporter, we are launching a spring fund drive. Your generous donations are critical to the ongoing operation of the site. As a result of eliminating pop-unders earlier this year (which was a popular and understandable request) our operational funds have been reduced by thousands of dollars. We have also, having been suspended for several months from the liberal advertising network due to technical guidelines, come incredibly close to the bone. As a result, we were forced to terminate a reporter and are looking at more drastic measures for April. We need your support to maintain the exclusives you need and the quality you desire.

To keep Raw Story alive, we're asking that 1000 readers make contributions. We have received donations from nearly 900 of our readers thus far so we are close to our goal. Any amount is appreciated, and every dollar is critical to our continued success. Help us keep Raw Story free of popups and return us to a three- reporter rotation. Larisa and I have both gotten sick over the last few weeks being barely able to keep up, and our sleep has dropped to an all-time low. We want to continue to bring the best of the news but we can’t do it without your support.

We think our journalism has been a great success and brought many back into politics. We've strived to provide the news fast and accurately and have learned a great deal ourselves; we make corrections and take input from readers. Raw Story is now part of the progressive pantheon. We have brought new pressure on the mainstream media to better reflect the diversity of the news. Our work with you on the Downing Street Memo helped the secret minutes of a British and American pre-war meeting make the Washington Post, the New York Times and the Associated Press. We were the first to reveal Sen. David Vitter (R-LA's) dinner with Jack Abramoff; the first to identify Valerie Plame's work on Iran; the first to expose the practices of the nonprofit that funded Tom DeLay (R-TX)'s trips to Scotland and Asia; the first to publish the Secret Service logs of Jeff Gannon's visits to the White House; the first to print the actual Terri Schiavo 'talking points' document; and the first to finger Vice President Dick Cheney's role in the CIA leak scandal.

But we need your help to maintain an aggressive reporting team. Right now, we get dozens of leads each week that go unexplored because we simply don't have the ability to pay reporters to investigate. If you can imagine what we report with the two primary reporters we have, imagine what we could report with two more reporters.

If we are able to raise a sufficient amount of money through this fund drive, we will hire another full-time reporter to bring you even more Raw Story exclusives. Help us beat 1,000 donations and let's take Raw Story to the next level. And if we get more, we can take a long hiatus from focusing on money and return the attention to reporting. In the last four weeks, I have largely quit major investigative assignments because I have been involved in increasing the revenue of the site. I don't want to worry about paying bills, at least through the 2006 elections. The time is now to make a difference. Donate where it counts.

Please share your feedback on the comment thread below. Let us know what you think we've done right and wrong and what you’d like to see more (or less of) so we can work to better serve our readers' needs in the year to come. And please, drop a donation in the PayPal jar or a check in the mail if you feel the inclination. Donations of $50 or more will get you an ad-free account if you so choose (and yes, we are really finished setting them up). Donations are not tax deductible.

And remember, we're always looking for roving tipsters -- if you work inside the government and always wanted to share your experience; if you work at a big company and have news to share; if you work at a television station or a newspaper or are a journalist yourself and want to see your stories get play but don't want your fingerprints on the story -- email us. None of our sources have ever been identified (the ones that wanted to remain anonymous, that is), and the world is waiting for the truth. We live to tell the stories Big Media won't. And we're not intimidated by the Bush Administration's decisions to crack down on reporting.

Email [email protected], or use the comment form linked from the front page. Or if you’d like to mail your tip, you can send it to Raw Story, PO Box 21050, Washington, D.C. 20009.

And finally, please feel free to tell our writers what you think of their work. All of us put incredible time and energy into the work and are always eager to hear praise or criticism. Really -- Larisa and I first met when she sent in an acerbic note on an article. We are here for you and your comments matter. Reach me at [email protected] and Larisa at [email protected] Many of our writers and editorialists also have emails at the bottom of their articles, and if you can't find an email address, drop us a note through the comment form. Please send story or site suggestions to [email protected] If you have an interest in being a Raw Story affiliate, email [email protected]

Again, thanks for your renewed support. As long as we’re able, we’ll continue fighting for truth and justice. We hope you will too.


John Byrne
Executive Editor
Raw Story Founder

Correction: In an earlier version of this note, Sen. David Vitter was incorrectly identified. He is a Republican.