Our world’s going through a tumble and the new normal is gonna be, well, weird. Seems right up our alley.
We believe Tumbleweird has a role to play in connecting our community so we can thrive amidst these uncertain times.
By the way—here's this month's issue:
TUMBLEWEIRD: APRIL 2020
Several things are happening at Tumbleweird:
- This month’s issue will be digital only.
- We’ll be back in print next month, soon kicking off a drive to add new subscribers.
- Our website is going to start to see a lot more content more regularly.
- We’re gearing up to launch an online community to connect Tumbleweirdos and help us support, inspire, entertain, and encourage one another in positively weird ways—something we all need right now.
- We’re going to be building up our team of regular contributors, especially on the local news side.
We’ve been in touch with advertisers and subscribers, but we want to share with all of you what we’re working on now. If you want to help, we’d be grateful.
Subscription and Patreon drive
These are challenging times for publications like Tumbleweird. Nieman Lab called COVID-19 “a nearly perfect weapon against alternative weeklies.” Numerous alternative newspapers are laying off large portions of staff—even Seattle’s almighty The Stranger pulled back 18 jobs. In light of this, we’re mindful of the fact that in order to make it, Tumbleweird is going to have to adjust. In a weird way, we’re lucky enough that we were never profitable to begin with!
We are going to be doing a major drive to help people subscribe to and support Tumbleweird so that print issues are still getting out in the community when people aren’t able to visit the cool local businesses that have carried our publication for years.
We have a rough idea of how we want to do this, but we need more ideas from you.
A huge portion of Tumbleweird readers are in sectors that have been decimated by COVID-19. We want anyone laid off to request a subscription to Tumbleweird and get it for free. Printing and mailing isn’t cheap though, so we will also need to find businesses and individuals who are up for sponsoring those subscriptions.
We’re willing to bet you have more ideas. Let us hear them! You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
“Positively weird” — a community
We want to find ways to bring our community together and bring joy, celebration, and weirdness to life. We need that right now and we can imagine you do, too. We bet you’ve got ideas on how Tumbleweird can do this and we are super excited to have a place where you can participate in that.
Rather than just spinning up a Facebook group, our intent presently is to do this is on a separate platform in order to create a place that isn’t in the middle of the chaos of traditional social media.
But in order to do this, we’re going to need to build a team. If you want to be part of that, please reach out to me at email@example.com
“Never timid” — our role in local journalism
Tumbleweird has always served as fringe media. In a couple stories we published last week, we’ve certainly lived out the“never timid” half of our tagline.
We ran John Roach’s article pushing for the community’s responsibility for flattening the curve and we broke the story that there was a COVID-19 case in the Tri-Cities, which was then indirectly disputed by the health district, but later validated when it came to light that a Mattawa priest who tested positive had been at Kadlec since the first week of March. We took some heat for both of those articles and, to put it frankly, we don’t care.
Tumbleweird hasn’t shied away from giving a voice to truth-tellers—either by publishing them directly or through sharing the anonymous perspective of trustworthy and credible sources—and we never will. And, just the same, we also welcome being held accountable when our community feels we could do better.
If you’re interested in joining our large group of contributors, now is a great time! We are particularly interested in folks who have stories to tell and ideas to share that could provoke the imagination, salve the pain, and inspire the hearts of our community right now.
You can make contributions at contribute.tumbleweird.org and if you’re interested in volunteering to be a regular part of our tiny news team sharing stories about what’s happening in our community, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.