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A Thank You and an Update for Our Members
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A Thank You and an Update for Our Members

How we're doing, what we're up to now, and a preview of what's to come.

Dear Members,

Let us begin with an enthusiastic thank you. Thank you for joining us. Thank you for your feedback. Thank you for sharing your enthusiasm about The Dispatch with your friends. And, most important, thank you for your early support of our work.

Today, we’re entering the next stage of our plan, by adding new membership options and restricting more of our work to members only. We thought we’d take the opportunity to provide you with an update and a preview of what’s to come.

We had great hopes more than a year ago, when we first started to imagine a new media company. We knew we wanted to provide an alternative to the outrage-driven opinion slinging that has become so prevalent in journalism today. We knew we wanted a business model that didn’t depend on monetizing clicks and anger and all of the bad incentives that brings. We wanted to build a more direct relationship with our readers and listeners by delivering much of our work directly to you—“pushed content,” in publishing jargon—and to create a community that might provide an alternative to the sewage that often passes through modern social media. We believed strongly that there was an audience for the kind of fact-driven reporting and commentary that we’d put at the center of our plans.

What has happened in the year since has been remarkable. Thousands of you signed up early to support our efforts, becoming members before real membership benefits began. Tens of thousands of readers signed up for our newsletters—old-school liberals, hard-core conservatives, curious independents, and the politically homeless among them. We’re mailing our free newsletters to nearly 60,000 recipients—a number that grows by the hundreds each day. We’ve had newsletters that have been shared by several hundred thousand readers. We’ve launched two new podcasts, each gaining listeners by the thousands with each new episode. In just its third episode, The Dispatch flagship podcast climbed into Top 100 rankings among Apple news podcasts—alongside The New Yorker Radio Hour and the Meet the Press podcast hosted by Chuck Todd.  

We don’t say this to brag. (Okay, we don’t say this primarily to brag.) We are sharing this information with you, our earliest supporters, because our success is your success. It’s quite literally the case that we couldn’t have done this without you. And we’re grateful.

We said from the outset that this would be a work in progress, that we’d be building the airplane as we headed down the runway. And that remains true.

The only way to ensure unrestricted, uninterrupted access to all of our editorial offerings is to become a member. You’re receiving this email, so you’ve already done that. You can adjust what you want to receive from us at any time by going to your personal account page: www.thedispatch.com/account. In the coming months, we will be providing additional optionality, so that you’ll be able to better manage how you receive our work, too. Want every single newsletter delivered in full to your inbox? No problem. Want to pick and choose which newsletters you want to receive? You can do that now at the link above. Do you want just one email each day with highlights and links to the specific newsletters you’ve chosen? That’s coming, too.

Today, The Dispatch features six newsletters and three podcasts, as well as a website. And we’re growing. Here’s our current offering:

Newsletters

Our newsletters are mostly restricted to paying members. We’ll make some newsletters available to nonpaying readers, on a rotating basis, in an effort to continue to build our overall readership. But only members receive all of The Dispatch newsletters without restriction.

The Morning Dispatch: An essential daily news roundup, TMD includes a brief look at important stories of the day and original reporting and analysis from The Dispatch team, along with recommendations for deeper reading and some much-needed humor for these anxious times.

The G-File: Jonah Goldberg’s “news” letter, an institution for more than two decades. Built around Jonah’s deep understanding of American history, his passion for conservative ideas and his, um, unique sensibility, it’s a must-read every Friday. And now he’ll be adding semi-regular mini G-Files during the week. 

The French Press: In your inbox at least three times each week, The French Press includes observations and trenchant analysis from David French on politics, culture, law and religion (and, even some basketball). David draws on his vast experience—as a First Amendment lawyer, a military veteran, and a committed Christian, among other things—for his always-interesting, often surprising missives. 

Vital Interests : An authoritative look at significant foreign policy and national security issues from Thomas Joscelyn, a senior editor at Long War Journal and senior fellow at Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. Once each week, Joscelyn, who is sought out by the nation’s top foreign policy and national security policymakers, sends a deeply researched but highly readable analysis of American power on the world stage. He’ll supplement his weekly newsletter with occasional news and event-driven updates.

The Dispatch Fact-Check: With the frantic pace of the news-cycle and the ever-increasing flow of dubious information, our fact-checkers look carefully at claims from elected officials, reports from the news media, and disinformation on social media to help you understand what’s true and what’s not. 

The Dispatch Weekly: From Rachael Larimore, managing editor of The Dispatch, comes our Saturday morning roundup of work we’ve produced over the preceding week. While we think all of our stuff is worth reading, think of this as a best-of-the-best to help you catch up, with your Saturday morning coffee after a busy week. 

Podcasts 

Most podcasts from The Dispatch are available to the general public. But Dispatch members will have exclusive access to members-only episodes and segments of each podcast, including special ask-us-anything and event-driven podcasts.

The Remnant: Hosted by editor-in-chief Jonah Goldberg, the twice-weekly, hourlong podcast features one-on-one interviews with leading lawmakers, journalists, thinkers and authors. Jonah pushes his guests beyond talking points and platitudes to engage in deep, thoughtful conversations that cover a wide variety of topics.

The Dispatch Podcast: Hosted by staff writer Sarah Isgur—with a roundtable featuring David French, Jonah Goldberg and Steve Hayes—The Dispatch Podcast is a weekly discussion of news and current events that sets aside the trivial and the mundane in favor of substantive conversations about politics, policy and culture, meant to explain what’s going on and provide the context that’s important to understanding it. 

Advisory Opinions: Hosted by Sarah Isgur and David French, two well-read and highly approachable Harvard Law graduates discuss law, culture, religion, and society in a sober and elevated manner. 

The Morning Dispatch Podcast—Coming soon, a short-form audio version of The Morning Dispatch newsletter. It won’t cover everything in TMD, but it’s the perfect accompaniment for your morning commute if you’ve missed the newsletter. 

Website

Each weekday we’ll post a small offering of stand-alone articles on our website. The articles will be available to the public, while the newsletters posted on the site will remain restricted to members only.

Community

Each of our editorial products—every article, newsletter, and podcast—includes a discussion thread at the end available only to members of The Dispatch. Our writers regularly drop into these discussions to chat with members and answer questions.  

In the coming weeks, we will be launching our conference-call series, featuring members-only calls with The Dispatch writers, editors and contributors. Stay tuned for more information. 

And a little further down the runway, we’ll be offering livestreamed podcast recordings and events. These, too, will be available only to members. 

We’re off to a great start. And while we’re very pleased by this early progress, we’re taking nothing for granted. We hear regularly that there’s “no market” for what we’re doing, that a center-right media company that puts facts and reporting at the center of the enterprise is doomed to fail. 

Writers catering to the alt-right claim that The Dispatch has an “insignificant number of subscribers” and insist that nobody wants the kind of news and analysis we’re providing. Some on the left say the same thing. The “popular prospects for The Dispatch … seem dubious,” a writer at The New Republic wrote last week. What sells, we’re told, is outrage-stoking, opinion-slinging and “purely partisan diatribes that reinscribe the American right’s sense of utmost cultural exclusion even at a moment of peak political power.” The Dispatch “is trying to replicate a model of conservative discourse that’s failed again and again on the American right over the past 70-odd years.” In short, we’re told, the audience for what we’re producing doesn’t exist.

Well, we’re glad they’re wrong. We’re glad you’re here. And we’re grateful you’ve become a member. The single biggest thing you can do today to help us further is to spread the word. So please encourage your friends and colleagues to check us out, too.

If you have any questions about your membership, or any problems, you can email us directly: members@thedispatch.com

Thanks again for your support.

Steve Hayes is the editor and CEO of The Dispatch.