With the close of the legislative session, our team at the Wire took a little break. It was a special opportunity to walk away from some of our self-imposed deadlines, and reflect on the progress we’ve made since our re-launch three years ago.
It was also an opportunity to get feedback from some of our readers, and think about how we deliver value to our readers and community at the Wire. We had independent conversations with stakeholders from across the spectrum of folks that check in with the Wire either daily, weekly, or from time to time. We conducted an online survey – and we were able to reflect back on our survey coming out of our Re-Wire event.
Here is some of what we heard and what we’ve taken from this time of reflection.
1. If you’ve been to our Re-Wire Policy Conference, you think it’s a unique event that creates special opportunities to connect with other policy professionals ahead of the session. You like it, and are looking forward to being there again this December.
2. Many of you read the Wire regularly to track policy and politics in Washington State. You think we provide a level of reporting and coverage that you can’t find anywhere else, in part as a result of the sheer amount of coverage we provide. So far this year, for example, we’ve posted 189 independent and original stories at our site.
3. If you read our content at the Wire, there is a good chance you don’t have any interest in ever attending one of our events. You like to read about state politics and policy but you don’t have an interest in coming to join us in an in-person gathering. Maybe you’re based in eastern Washington and just aren’t interested in the travel. Or, perhaps you are interested in what’s happening in Olympia for personal reasons, but can’t justify the time for a conference as part of your non-political job.
If you’ve been reading the Wire for the last three years, you know that we don’t fund our content through impression-based revenue models.
Our business model relies upon the financial success of our conference, the results from which we put back into our content.
This allows our content to be a bit more thoughtful, and a bit less breathless than some other digital-only outlets, particularly those covering the national news.
But, this time off has allowed us to think more broadly about how to fund our work. For instance, if a significant number of our readers don’t ever plan to attend an event, but they find significant value from our reporting, perhaps there should be another way for them to support our journalism.
We’re thinking through these questions as the interim is now upon us.
During the session, we had the goal of at least 2 posts a day in new stories. Sometimes we got to 5. But, in the interim, we’re going to set our bar at one story a day for the time being.
This new, self-imposed standard will allow us to scale back our work a bit over the near term, and still provide significant, unique value to you.
So, as always, thanks for reading our stuff – and more from us soon.
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Public service journalism is important today as ever. If you get something from our coverage, please consider making a donation to support our work. Thanks for reading our stuff.