Why The Intercept’s Newsroom Needs You
By Betsy Reed
Now I want to tell you a little bit about how our newsroom works, and how by becoming a member you can be a key part of our future.
In today’s fast-paced, hyper-partisan, and crowded media landscape, The Intercept cuts through the din with sharp, informed, truth-driven reporting — based on information we dig up ourselves.
Our reporters do much of this digging the old-fashioned way: attending events, cultivating sources, making phone calls, knocking on doors. Jamie Kalven’s explosive four-part series on the Chicago Police Department, for example, relied on extensive interviews and court records to expose how corrupt cops were protected by high-level officials.
Intercept reporters also ferret out newsworthy documents by making Freedom of Information Act requests, as Lee Fang and Nick Surgey did for their recent piece about how Republican members of Congress were enticing donors with the promise of meetings with senior legislative staff.
But more and more, as word has spread that The Intercept takes its commitment to whistleblowers seriously, it’s a tip that leads us to a revelatory story: A source emails us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or reaches out via our SecureDrop server, to share some materials or point us in a certain direction. All too often, the tantalizing lead fizzles into a dead end. But once in a while, it guides us to a story that urgently needs to be told.
Take, for example, the story we published this past weekend on the Blackwater-style private security firm TigerSwan. Reporting on a leak of more than 100 internal documents, the piece exposed how TigerSwan used tactics and language developed on the battlefields of the war on terror against the peaceful indigenous-led movement opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline — in close coordination with police agencies.
The point is, our reporters, editors, developers, and research staff work hard to find and report the most revealing stories — stories that bring accountability to the powerful, often contradicting the prevailing narrative in the process. When the Pentagon boasts of a successful military operation, The Intercept looks at the incident from a different angle. Our reporters take the time — and sometimes the physical risk — to listen to witnesses of airstrikes, to question whether the targets were Al Qaeda operatives or innocent villagers in the wrong place at the wrong time.
This kind of reporting requires resources. With the support of First Look Media and its founder, Pierre Omidyar, we have been able to pursue our journalism free of the obligation to court advertisers. But we believe that it is healthy for media to be funded at least in part through the direct support of the public whose interests it is dedicated to serving. That’s where you come in.
As an Intercept reader, you want us to pursue the truth, no matter where it leads. Put simply, the more you support us, the more journalism we can deliver. We’re in this for the long haul, and we want you to come along for the ride.
May 31, 2017 at 06:00PM
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