A Seattle online news outlet known for amplifying local voices, educating new journalists and churning out news with a focus on Seattle’s multiracial community is mounting a fundraising campaign to save the program.
Due to budget cuts at the University of Washington, The Seattle Globalist’s future is uncertain. The nonprofit organization is attempting to raise $5,000 in monthly subscriptions to keep the organization moving forward.
For years, The Seattle Globalist has operated within the university. Its three founders — Sarah Stuteville, Jessica Partnow and Alex Stonehill — all had contracts with the university that allowed them to run The Seattle Globalist. The founders were working with the university as “artists in residence,” Stuteville said.
The relationship allowed the three of them to create the Globalist with access to campus resources, such as computer labs and classrooms.
It began as a blog covering international issues. It has since sharpened its focus on Seattle voices who are often neglected in other media outlets.
To date, the organization has worked with 600 contributors from around the region. The Globalist hosts training sessions to help writers hone their voice.
Several prominent Seattle journalists were part of the Globalist, including The Stranger’s Ana Sofia Knaupf and Ansel Herz, and Globalist columnist Reagan Jackson.
“It’s the media I’ve been waiting for,” Jackson said. “And without it, I would never have become a journalist.”
Jackson met the founders at a brunch and started talking about study-abroad programs and how many barriers the programs place for students of color. Jackson remembers being the only Black student in a study-abroad program and how unprepared the organizers were for processing her experience.
The conversation turned into a column that Jackson wrote for the Globalist. Now she’s a regular contributor.
Jackson writes for other news outlets, but it’s never the same as with the Globalist, which pays its contributors.
“There’s not the same level of respect for me as a freelance writer,” Jackson said of other news organizations. “I feel really spoiled at the Globalist.”
Stuteville said the Globalist is working on recruiting monthly subscribers for as little as $5 a month.
Acquiring $5,000 a month in subscriptions would allow the Globalist to continue, although not at the same capacity as before.
The subscription would cover $60,000 in a year, but the Globalist would still need to raise more money through grants and other donations.
In 2016, the Globalist has a $343,000 budget.
“I have to believe in a city with this kind of money that there’s support out there to help [the Globalist] survive,” Stuteville said.
The goal is not just to save the program in some smaller form of what it was.
The organization has multiple plans set out for a barebones budget of $175,000 all the way to a Cadillac budget of $500,000.
The fundraising campaign is more than an effort to save the organization, but one to grow it, ultimately.
“I want people to feel a sense of urgency around this,” Jackson said. “I need them to get activated and understand how important it is to take action, to stand in solidarity, to protect and build an organization that has done everything to protect and build voices within our communities.”