Thank you for your support of the Raleigh Public Record. I want to share some of our accomplishments with you.
The Raleigh Public Record began four years ago, when a young reporter named Charles Duncan Pardo noticed that it was getting harder to find basic news coverage of Raleigh in conventional local media. So he decided to launch a nonprofit online newspaper to cover what other newspapers, radio, television and online sources didn’t.
What local communities need most – and aren’t getting enough of – is local news about city planning, water quality, transportation, education, and public safety. Nonprofit news organizations like the Raleigh Public Record are emerging across the country to fill that gap. Your financial contribution today will help us continue to do that right here in Raleigh.
I joined the Record’s Board of Directors last year because its reporters and editors produce the kind of fact-based reporting that informs public debate. The Raleigh Public Record has always paid its reporters and expects them to adhere to the Society of Professional Journalists’ code of ethics. Its focus is relentlessly local.
We need your help. The A. J. Fletcher Foundation has offered us a grant of $25,000, but we need to raise $12,500 so we can match that gift with donations from the community. That means every dollar you donate to the Raleigh Public Record will go twice as far. It also means we must raise that match to get half the grant.
2012 has been a terrific year for the Record on many fronts:
- We broke the story of a diesel fuel leak from Central Prison into Rocky Branch Creek, and our reporting helped lead to getting the on-going spill contained.
- We reported on and explained to readers the changes in Wake County Schools reassignment policy, and by mapping poverty level and test scores, we were able to show readers the contrast between assignment plans.
- A generous grant from the Park Foundation allowed us to run a comprehensive, multimedia series on fracking.
- We examined the unified development ordinance and the transit tax referendum, looked at the growing strain on emergency services, explained food truck regulations and broke down changes to stormwater rules.
- Our reporters visited every Citizen Advisory Council in the city to seek out stories and reach out to readers.
We also grew as an organization this year. We established a partnership with WRAL.com that’s put our headlines on their local news page, increasing our audience and helping our reporting have greater impact. We joined the North Carolina Press Association. We celebrated democracy on Election Night, and told tall tales at our Bard Brawl competitions.
We now publish substantive news stories every day. By the end of the year, the Record will have published our 1,500th story since we launched in 2008.
There’s a lot to look forward to as we enter our fifth year. We’ve hired our first staff reporter! Ariella Monti has been one of our most dedicated contributors — she practically lives at city hall. Check out her three-part series on domestic violence, which ran this month. In 2013, we plan to keep covering transit, development, education and environmental issues. We’ll look at how the change in political leadership on Jones Street will affect the capital city.
One thing we won’t be doing in 2013 is putting up a paywall. We want you to read our site and share our stories.
But we do need financial support from our readers to keep on doing what we do. The contributions we receive don’t pay for corporate executive salaries or stockholder dividends. When you donate to the Raleigh Public Record, your gift creates local news.
Our $12,500 matching goal is more than we’ve ever raised before, but we believe we can do it because we know people in Raleigh want more local news about the things that really matter.
You can support our work by reading our stories, signing up for our newsletter, and supporting our generous sponsors, all local businesses that care as much about the Raleigh community as we do. If you sign up to provide automatically recurring donations of as little as $10 a month, we’ll send you one of our new, locally printed T-shirts. And if you own or work for a business based in Raleigh that might be interested in sponsoring the Record, please get in touch — that counts toward our matching goal, too!
Please donate today.
All the best,
Board Chair, Raleigh Public Record