Dish Independence: Reader Reax III

Jan 14 2013 @ 1:29pm

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We have received about 4,000 emails since our declaration of independence on January 2, mostly from readers having just signed up for the new Dish. I have been trying to respond to as many as I can, while the Dish staff has been helping to compile all of your constructive feedback regarding our new experiment. So a lot more of your ideas and criticisms are still to come. But first, here are some of the most touching emails from our in-tray:

I just paid $500 in equal measure to the frustration, humor, and intelligence the blog has brought over the last 11 years I've been reading.  I might not donate that much again, but this time I owed you. You were very kind a few years ago to post a number of posts of mine on an anti-gay speech/assembly/etc bill in Nigeria, effectively identical to the one in Uganda.  It meant a lot to a lot of people to get that kind of exposure so quickly in the US.  I still hear from "pen-pals" in Nigeria.

Good luck with the experiment!

Another:

First time writer here. I want to applaud your team's decision to move to a subscription service. The Dish has been a part of my daily routine through college, while I was an expat in Sierra Leone (where your site took 5 minutes to load) and Syria (where your site was often blocked), and now as a policy analyst in DC. In fact, it may be the only thing that has stayed stable across the years and continents. At $20/year, this subscription has the best use-value of anything I'll purchase this year (so much so that I tossed in a bit extra). Good luck and come back and ask for more if you need to. I'm sure most of us would be willing.

Another:

I just completed the purchase of a $100 membership and hope all of your readers who can afford it will buy in at a higher level. I can imagine new startups are expensive, even if it involves blogging. I am an avid Dish Head, and as a 60-year-old African-American woman living in Indiana, I probably don't fit your typical reader profile. I don't do Twitter, but if I did I would be following you and Josh Marshall over at TPM. You both are the best in the blogging business. Good luck with the new venture. I have no doubt it will be a tremendous success.

Another:

I've been dismayed at how few truly successful journalists – the kind of people who can actually afford to take professional risks – have taken management positions or created a single job for an up-and-comer. Now, we're not all born managers, of course, but do I think that we journalists often lose sight of the fact that starting a business is often a deeply noble act.

I'm proud of the Dish because I realize that you guys could surely have negotiated a more lucrative contract with another publisher, made a ton of money, and continued to do great work. You'll do great work, I know, but this new path has the potential to be so much more. The fact that you're turning down easy money (and the easy respectability of operating under a large media company) and taking a risk to create something new is just so damn inspiring. Thank you.

I just gave you 50 bucks and, whatever the ultimate price is, I'm looking forward to reading your work for many, many years to come.

Another asks:

Have you thought about taking us all on a cruise like they do at the NRO?

Er, no. I have thought of taking all the award nominees on a cruise and as soon as it debarks, climbing into a lifeboat pronto. Previous reader reaction to the launch here and here. If you would like to become a founding member of an independent, ad free Dish, subscribe here for just $19.99 a year (or more if you are able and feeling generous).

(Image created by a Dish reader, natch)