Support Baltimore Brew’
s fresh and
fearless online reporting of the politics, culture and incredibly diverse
communities of the city that inspired H.L. Mencken, John Waters and the
creators of “The Wire.”
, as our loyal readers
know, is a daily news website
that gets behind development deals, tracks
campaign cash, features
outsider artists and offers gazpacho recipes with equal
verve. We’ve become a municipal must-read.
Since former Washington Post
reporter Fern Shen launched the Brew a few years ago, the site has won plaudits
from publications ranging from the Baltimore City Paper, which named it the
best local on-line news site three years in a row, to the New York Times, which
calls it “a reason for cheer.”
Shen and former Baltimore Sun
investigative reporter Mark Reutter, working with a team of more than a dozen
other volunteers, have built a dedicated corps of 25,000 regular readers by:
Giving a voice to Baltimore’s
voiceless through coverage of the workers
at the Sparrows Point steel mill and residents of impoverished neighborhoods in
one of America’s poorest cities.
city and other officials accountable by reporting on deals with favored
contractors, tax breaks for big political contributors and regulatory
concessions to major industries.
forum for city planners and visionaries to re-imagine Baltimore, helping ensure
that in the future it can provide the jobs and neighborhoods its residents need
– without resorting to tax gimmicks and giveaways.
want to expand the Brew’s coverage of the city’s spending practices and tax
breaks, to make sure Baltimore uses its scarce resources for programs that
benefit its people and not the politically-connected. And we want to make the Brew
sustainable by tapping new income streams and eventually paying salaries.
We plan to do this by:
coverage to include online video and podcasts.
more interactive features with readers.
special food, culture and lifestyle pages.
school and neighborhood coverage.
So far, we’ve kept the Brew
percolating with tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of donated time. With
a bare-bones budget, we’ve broken stories, shaped the civic conversation and
modeled a new kind of local media.
But we can’t expect the quality work we want without paying talented people for their time. So we
recently hired Meredith Mitchell as our business development manager, as part
of an effort to create a steady stream of income for the Brew.
Now we’re asking our great and
growing family of Brew readers, as well as supporters of quality community
journalism around the country, to help out as well – by dropping a generous
donation into our Kickstarter tip jar.
Who We Are:
FERN SHEN, the Brew’s publisher and editor, was
a Washington Post staff writer for 17 years and also has been a staff reporter
for the Baltimore Evening Sun and the Hartford Courant. At the Post she
worked on the Metro staff in Maryland bureaus and in Annapolis, where she
covered the Statehouse. On the
Post’s Style staff, she helped create and wrote for their unique KidsPost
section. A resident of Baltimore for 25 years, she created the award-winning
Brew in 2009.
, the Brew’s
associate editor and
senior reporter, has been reporting and writing on Baltimore since 1970, when
he started as an intern covering cops for The Evening Sun
. Reutter covered
inner-city housing and downtown development at the Sun
and began the reporting
on Baltimore’s then-largest employer, Bethlehem Steel, which resulted in
now classic book, "Making Steel – Sparrows Point and the Rise and Ruin
of American Industrial Might
." Reutter has edited the historical
magazine, Railroad History
, and publishes with the Progressive Policy Institute
in Washington, D.C.
MEREDITH MITCHELL, the Brew's director of business
development, is a founding member of Baltimore Bicycle Works, a cooperatively-run
bike shop in Baltimore where she continues to work. Meredith
brings to the Brew a Masters in Communication Studies from West Virginia
University and work experience doing marketing and fundraising for Catholic Charities of Baltimore. Mitchell grew up in Towson, but for the last eight years has
called Hampden her home.
, the Brew’s
Director, is owner of Make Things Studios, focusing on graphic and
interactive design. Ben, who finds the design challenge of online news
extremely intriguing, has provided design and development consulting to The Wall
, WNYC and the Brew.
Ben also teaches web design at Maryland Institute College of Art. Raised in Milwaukee, Ben has for the last
11 years made Baltimore his home.
How KickStarter Works:
If we don't make our goal by our deadline, your credit card doesn't get charged and we get zip, zilch, nada! So:
If you appreciate what we work so hard to bring you every day, if you want more, better Brew
, support us today!
Fern, Mark, Meredith, Ben and the whole Brew CrewPS
: Thanks and a huge shout-out to Rebecca Yenawine
and her amazing team at New Lens
, the folks who produced our nifty video. Check out the great work they're doing making art, media and new career paths for city youth.