On Our Second Anniversary, Thank You

Dear Dispatch Reader,

Two years ago today, we published the first post at The Dispatch. We made clear we weren’t out to change  the world; we just wanted to do good journalism, our way. That first post—with the straightforward headline “What Are We Doing?”—laid out what we called our “humble objectives.” In brief, “providing engaged citizens fact-based reporting and commentary on politics, policy and culture—informed by conservative principles. And, importantly, to offer a community and forum for thoughtful discussion and civil disagreement.” 

We’ve spent the last two years working to make good on those promises and to meet those objectives. And while we’re not stopping to pat ourselves on the back, we feel pretty good about our progress. If you’re reading this, you signed up for our free list—which makes you part of a group of Dispatch readers numbering more than 150,000. And so far, more than 26,000 people have joined The Dispatch as paying members, giving them access to everything we do.

We’re thrilled to have you as part of that first group and I’m writing today with the hope that you’ll consider joining the second. Dispatch members receive the full version of every newsletter we publish—the entire Morning Dispatch, extra editions of The French Press, a bonus G-File and others covering Capitol Hill, campaigns and elections, economics, and national security/foreign policy. Our members enjoy semi-regular livestreams with top Dispatch writers and editors, where they have an opportunity to question Jonah Goldberg directly about something in the latest G-File or ask Sarah Isgur about her analysis in The Sweep or on ABC News. We talk about the news of the day, big-picture developments across the country and the world—and we always end by taking questions (lots of questions) from Dispatch members. (And, to let you in on a secret, those semi-regular livestreams will be much more regular in the coming months.)

What can you expect? Here again, let me refer to that first post of ours, from two years ago today:

We will be timely and topical, but we won’t be slaves to the relentless pace of the news cycle. We will slow things down, deliberately—because we think the times require more deliberation. Whenever possible, we want to pause and think before we react, to research and report before sharing our views. The daily race to be wrong first on Twitter can be entertaining and instructive, but we have no interest in entering the competition…We’ll test our own assumptions and, we hope, challenge our readers to do the same. We expect people to disagree, but we hope they will see that we come to our positions honestly, without some unstated agenda. This will inevitably run afoul of partisan agendas. That’s not only okay, it’s by design. We believe telling the truth is always its own defense.

Two years in, we’ve had more success—and more fun—than we’d ever imagined even in our rosiest best-case scenarios. And the most gratifying part of the entire undertaking has been the response from our members.

I have been around for longer than my vanity would like to admit. Then the mirror mocks the sentiment. That said, this much is true; in all of the years that I have been fervently interested in national discourse and politics I have never been happier or more proudly associated with any media product as much as The Dispatch. Other than my daily consumption of the scriptures I can truthfully say that you guys have helped me navigate the choppiest waters of my lifetime (along with most of ours) more than any other and it’s not even close. The accuracy, honesty, tone and professionalism of all products simply outshines the competition while highlighting and engaging with others in enlightening ways. I find the daily consumption of the Dispatch indispensable and am happily committed to its future right along with you. A million thank yous to everyone!  — Jesse Blankenship.

Jesse is not alone. We did a survey this fall of our members. We asked about the value of a membership at $100/year or $10/month. Of the nearly 600 respondents, nearly 70 percent said they considered their membership a “good value” (48 percent) or a “tremendous value” (20 percent). (Another 30 percent said the pricing was “just right” and only 3 percent said it was “too expensive.”) But the best expression of the value we provide comes from those who choose to stay with us. As reported in the New York Times this week, more than 9 in 10 of our annual members renewed their membership.

If you give us a shot, we’re confident you’ll be as satisfied as those members. But if we’re wrong, you’re free to cancel at any time for a full refund.

Thanks again for reading us over these past two years. We hope you’ll join us for whatever comes next.


Steve and Jonah

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