Update 6/15 at 10 AM
We reached our initial $75,000 goal - but the campaign isn't over yet and our sights are set on the stretch goal of $125,000! Reaching it means we'll be on firmer financial footing as we start this new chapter, and it will help us make the site bigger, better, and more comprehensive than ever before.
Why hello there, Washington!
Whether you came to DCist to find out about upcoming events in your neighborhood, learn about the latest in city government, or chuckle over all the wacky things Washingtonians overhear around town, the site served as the District's homepage. All that changed when DCist abruptly shut down last November.
Thanks to WAMU, we're coming back, and bringing you all the news, culture, and curiosities you’ve been missing. We want to preserve what made the site a must-read and expand our coverage, all while making DCist sustainable in the long-run.
With your help, we will be able to cover even more of the city, doubling down on our reporting of Metro crises, listserv oddities, labor organizing, dating culture, food happenings, D.C.'s fight for autonomy, “Best Ofs,” and so much more. We might even weigh in on whether or not the city is, in fact, cool.
WHO ARE WE?
DCist began in 2004 as a volunteer-run blog, and over the years has morphed into an indispensable part of the local news ecosystem. When we were shut down, we had a full-time staff of three and a phalanx of freelancers contributing to the site.
Our curiosity about the city has always been boundless. We figured out why 16th Street is lined with houses of worship, gave friend speed dating a whirl, and learned about dolphins in the Potomac.
That inquisitiveness is matched by our commitment to reporting in the public interest. Our story about misgendering at a public pool led to changes in training policies, we brought you the nuanced tale of how gentrification is playing out on a soccer field in Columbia Heights, and we tracked which food delivery companies weren't serving neighborhoods east of the river.
On DCist 2.0, you'll still find our hard-hitting reporting, playful takes, shitty horoscopes, zoo stories, hidden gems of D.C. history, and the latest in city politics. The difference now is that we're owned by local NPR station WAMU, one of the District's most trusted newsrooms, and supported by you.
WHERE IS THIS MONEY GOING?
A pair of donors made it possible to buy DCist. But that was just enough to get the website back — not to keep it running.
With $75,000, we can bring back our staff at its previous level, take on a part-time editor, hire new freelancers, and develop a fresh daily newsletter to grace your inbox. That means more tales uncovered from the annals of D.C. history, more things to do this weekend, more snapshots of the city's mushrooming restaurant scene, more profiles of people who make the city tick, and more coverage of the tensions of a growing city.
If we reach our stretch goal of $125,000, that means an even wider variety of voices helping you understand our city, and providing nuance to a place that is so much more than the home of the federal government.
We’re counting on you—our readers, neighbors, tipsters, and overhearers—to be an integral part of DCist 2.0.
Pledge $12 or more and receive this limited edition DCist vinyl sticker.
Pledge $25 or more and receive your own pencil set with DCist-specific flair for when you want to scribble down the hilarious thing you just overheard on the Metro.
Pledge $50 or more and get a gorgeous postcard set by local illustrator Carlos Carmonamedina, including a limited-edition DCist scene.
Pledge $75 or more and receive the fresh tote bag you knew was coming as soon as news broke that DCist was joining the public radio fold.
Pledge $120 or more and live your truest DCist chef life with an apron and recipe card set from some our favorite bars and restaurants.
Pledge $200 or more and snag this limited-edition DCist roast from Lost Sock Coffee Roasters along with a shmancy camping mug to drink it out of.
Pledge $200 and enjoy a night on the town with The Hamilton, including VIP early entry to a show of your choice and an exclusive pre-show meet and greet (pending artist approval).
Pledge $200 and get exclusive early access to the National Building Museum's summer architectural exhibition, Fun House before it shows up in your Instagram feed.
Pledge $365 and we'll write a personalized guide to life in D.C. You just tell us who, what, or where you want to know about and we'll craft a "best of" just for you.
Pledge $600 and no less than Kojo Nnamdi himself will record a voicemail for you.
Pledge $600 and hang out at DC Brau and get your brew/journalism nerdery on with the editors of DCist.
Pledge $1,200 and we'll give you a tour of our new home at WAMU, including a live taping of the Kojo Nnamdi Show.
Pledge $1,200 and take a staycation at The Line hotel.
Pledge $5,000 and catch a Tiny Desk concert live, along with a tour of NPR headquarters.
The good news about DCist becoming part of WAMU just keeps coming. WAMU is a member-supported station and a registered 501c3, meaning your pledge is tax-deductible (minus the value of your selected reward as well as credit card processing and Kickstarter fees). You'll get a tax acknowledgment after the campaign ends.
Risks and challenges
When DCist closed, we heard from people all over town asking us if we were going to start our own publication. The thing is, it’s so much easier said than done. The economics of the local news business are, shall we say, rough.
But with DCist 2.0, we have the perfect opportunity to marry our digital sensibilities and commitment to neighborhood news with public radio's member-supported model. Rather than looking to owners in New York (Gothamist) or Chicago (Joe Ricketts and DNAInfo), we now only answer to our own community.
The way forward for local journalism will need to be experimental, and it will rely on your support in more ways than one. We hope you'll join us as we work to pave a new path.
We'll see you next month at DCist.com :) :) :)Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (31 days)