The JOLT's 2023 mid-year campaign to support local news in Thurston County
The JOLT is your community-owned 501(c)(3) nonprofit news organization. Our IRS EIN is 87-2868827; all contributions are tax-deductible.
The JOLT began publishing in May 2020 to bring more local news coverage back to Thurston County. We do this every day through stories like:
• “Proposed Regional Fire Authority considers various formulas for a ‘Fire Benefit Charge’” – one of more than 22 stories we’ve published through March 2023 that cover the potential merger and separation of Tumwater’s and Olympia’s fire departments.
• “A mega airport in Thurston County?” – this reader-submitted piece stimulated ongoing news stories about Washington state eyeing a swath of the county for a new airport. We continue to monitor this unpopular possibility.
• “Endangered frogs no match for planned dynamite blast next Wednesday,” which helped prevent the explosion from occurring last month.
You can find more than 3,000 local news and feature stories we’ve published, all of which are both searchable and available at no charge on our website: www.theJOLTnews.com
(And if you’re not already receiving The Daily JOLT, our weekday newsletter that shows you the day’s local headlines, you’re invited to subscribe – for FREE! Just go to the form at www.theJOLT.news)
Why is local news important?
Local news, different from national media, supports local democracy. It helps keep public officials accountable. It stimulates more talented people to run for public office. Across the country, opinion polls say that it’s better trusted than national news. We provide information that helps to create a shared public understanding of local issues.
This is reporting you won’t find anywhere else (certainly not in the national news!) because it covers the issues that most impact your day-to-day life — local government activity, school board meetings, building development, etc.
In addition to covering the hard news, we also feature local columnists who write about gardening, local birds, local nonprofit organizations, life here as a senior citizen, health and personal growth. Plus, an increasing number of reader letters, local high school sports pictorials, full-length obituaries (which we publish at no charge) and more.
And our Community Calendar offers all kinds of local and online events, more than 200 per month, lately.
Why can’t we pay for all of this from advertising revenues?
While ad revenues are important to The JOLT, at this stage, we can expect to earn only a third of our revenues by advertising for local businesses, organizations and events.
The news ecosystem across America is broken. As much as 80 percent of ad revenues that used to flow to newspapers have moved online – primarily to social media and classified ad sites. Some 2,500 print newspapers across the country have shut down since 2005. Some 1,800 served communities that no longer have a daily or weekly news service. The old business model for local news is never coming back.
In response to these trends, some 700 local independent online news organizations have formed around the United States. Of these, approximately 140 are nonprofit news media, including The JOLT News Organization.
As a nonprofit, we depend on the support of local community members like you to keep this critical work going.
For a small, still-new independent news organization like us, your contribution would be a big deal. It will help us deliver the kind of in-depth journalism you’ve come to expect, every day. It’s the kind of reporting that can make a real difference in our community. And it’s worthy of your support. Thank you!
You are helping to support continued writing and FREE distribution of our own local news here -- stories that help all Thurston County residents know what's happening in our local governments, schools and businesses as well as inspiring stories of local people doing great things.
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