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Keeping City Paper free has been an important part of our mission since our founding in 1981. Today, being a free paper is our small way of maintaining a shred of equality in a city with a vast gulf between the haves and the have-nots. But the cost of our journalism isn’t small, and neither is our impact.
This past month (a very busy one!) in local investigative and narrative journalism at City Paper illustrates what we’re talking about.
We were the first to report on a dangerous bacterial outbreak at St. Elizabeths Hospital that left vulnerable patients without water for 27 days. We told you about D.C. police officers sexually harassing sex workers. We chronicled what life looks like for men convicted as juveniles who, due to sentencing reform, are returning home to a changed city earlier than expected. And we also explained the mystery of food festival failures. City Paper’s Laura Hayes tracked nearly every food festival in the region since April for last week’s cover story.
Stories like these often take more than 50 hours of work each when you account for the time we spend filing for public records, interviewing sources, carefully editing each sentence, and sometimes even paying an attorney to review every word. Thankfully, our members are helping fund these stories with their generous support. We’ve created tiers of membership that we hope are accessible to anyone who wants to support our work, but the bigger you give, the bigger our investigative footprint in the city can be. One reader recently gave us a $10,000 gift because they want us to keep up our close watch on the D.C. government.
And it’s not just the investigative pieces that are expensive; lighter pieces have a hefty price tag, too. Hours go into covering the Nats’ unlikely journey to the World Series and the Mystics winning the WNBA championship.
Help us to continue to shed light on important issues and keep our journalism free for everyone. When you become a City Paper member, you support transparency, accountability, and equality in D.C.
If you can, please consider joining us. You get more than just the good feeling of supporting your local investigative outlet. There’s pretty cool City Paper swag involved, too. And for higher membership categories, partnership opportunities, or larger contributions, please contact our Director of Business Development, Duc Luu, and he’ll work with you to get you the appropriate recognition and thank you gifts.
Alexa Mills, Editor