The first six months of Double Sided Media’s existence has been one of the most exciting and fulfilling periods of my brief career as a writer and journalist. What began as an informal experiment in local journalism with my friends and colleagues has become a bustling little outlet that is earning the trust of our little community with each story we put together.
Through everything we’ve experienced–the uprising, the pandemic, personal traumas and a seemingly constant threat of violence–we have consistently put out work that we can proudly stand behind, work that has helped shape the way our readers view and think about our collective experiences in this little corner of the world.
We did all this because it’s important. When we started Double Sided Media last summer, we did so with the goal of filling in the gaps of local news–a goal of telling stories that other people, for whatever reason, couldn’t do. We’ve been on the ground for some of the most pivotal moments in recent memory, from the police beatdown of Black Unity protesters in Thurston to the Proud Boy rally just this month, always reporting the stories from a perspective that other local outlets couldn’t match.
I am incredibly proud of what we’ve been able to do in our brief existence, and I hope you, as a loyal reader, feel the same way.
I probably don’t need to tell you, dear reader, that things on the streets are getting hairy. Though Eugene has not seen the sort of consistent unrest and brutal crackdowns that our friends up in Portland and Salem have, it is only a matter of time before we begin to see that here. Between the constant threat of state violence via local police and the increasingly bold actions of far-right militias and local fascists, our safety as street-level journalists has never been more at risk.
Outside of the occasional private donations and tips from supporters, none of us get paid to do the work we do for DSM. We all have our reasons for volunteering our time for this project, but above all, we go out there day after day and week after week because we fucking love what we do.
And that’s why we, as a collective of indie journalists, are launching our first-ever public fundraiser.
For the next two weeks, we will be soliciting and accepting donations from generous readers via GoFundMe with the express goal of raising $2000. These funds will be used to purchase plate carriers and ballistic helmets for our team to wear while reporting live at protests and action, as well as some first aid kits and additional COVID protection gear in case the unthinkable happens to befall one of us.
In addition to soliciting donations via our usual social media channels, we’re going to be hosting a pair of special events over the next few weeks in order for our readers to get to know us a little bit better.
- On Jan. 24, we’ll be hosting a live Q&A session, where the DSM staff will be on camera discussing our accomplishments over the last few months and where we want to see things go from here. Readers will be able to tune in and pick our brains about our stories, our values, and anything else they may be curious about.
- Then, on Jan. 30, we’ll follow up that first Q&A with the first-ever DSM fundraising livestream marathon. For one whole Saturday, the members of the DSM collective will be continually streaming on Twitch, with each member taking up a block of time to do whatever it is they want to do. There will be table reads of terrible books, thoughtful analyses of Avatar: The Last Airbender fanfiction, streams of video games and so much more. There will even be opportunities for readers to decide what we do in our respective time blocks.
It’s an opportunity for us to be ourselves and an opportunity for you, our readers, to get to know us a little bit better. We wouldn’t be where we are if it wasn’t for you–this is the least we can do.
Everything we’ve done over the last six months has been in service to you, our community. We, as a collective of writers, photographers, and creative-types, reject the idea of paywalls surrounding vital information. Our stories are always going to be free to read and free to distribute anywhere you see fit.
We’re just asking for a little help to keep ourselves going.
No matter what you choose to do, thank you for your continued support, on behalf of myself and the rest of the Double Sided Media team.