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What Happened to the Report

What Happened to the Report

Over the last few weeks the report has gone dark, and we haven't published anything new. We are building a subscriber base and would like to be able to be a dependable source of information for you so this lapse deserves an explanation. I also want to explain what may seem like a pivot from my original goals for the report.

When I started the Jeffersonian Report, I planned to write a daily report with a heavy focus on current events that are most relevant to the people within my own community. I found out very quickly that this is nearly impossible for a single person to do. I found that when trying to keep up with the news cycle it meant sacrificing quality of research to be able to publish something within a relevant time frame.

I also found that since a lot of newsworthy events aren't necessarily positive, our reporting was looking more negative than positive, and I want to ensure we keep things balanced here. It's not that I want to create a false balance or anything, but I believe that as humans we tend to instinctively allow negative events to cast a shadow on the positive because that's what keeps you alive when you have to worry about being eaten by a lion. However we also know that stress hormone can have a negative impact on mental and physical health.

I would like to put more attention on local issues here too, but I don't have the personal free time to go out and find the news before it's been written here any better than I can with national and international events. Things move quickly around us, and while I would like to maybe one day be able to provide a consistent view of the latest news that's just not something we're equipped to do here at any level. The school board will continue to be an area of focus for me because I think there is a lot going on that we all need to be more aware of, and I'm working on getting access to video from city council meetings so we can start to contribute to the dialog there as well. Most of these meetings take place while I am working my primary job so it's rare that I will be able to actually attend.

That brings me to the pivot. Instead of continuing to try and tread water to keep up with current events and just regurgitating what countless other outlets, I am going to go in depth on things that matter to you. I won't be able to write a new piece every single day, but moving forward I will do my best to get at least one article written each week myself, and I am actively seeking additional writers to help increase our capacity to provide quality content. I have at least 1 other author lined up now, and I am looking for more. If you or someone you know would be interested you can reach out using one of the services we list on matrix or the fediverse. Links can be found on our contact page.

I will still publish something like the Word of the Day, but it won't be a daily piece because it just takes too much time for now. I think language is important though, and I believe that we take for granted the idea we are all speaking the same language while in fact the definitions of words are always evolving at different rates in ways that can cause confusion so I'd like to write more about the effect this can have and has had on our culture.

In addition to our written report, we are going to be starting a video report in the very near future. This will be added to the podcast index and compatible with Pocasting 2.0 software. I think that this could help me fill the gaps in the written report when it comes to current events because I can cover a lot more topics per episode than I can in a single article, and I can even do it live with little to no preparation whereas written articles take time to edit after they've been written. This was always a plan, but I'm seeing it as essential if I am to be able to provide valuable commentary on the fast moving current events news cycle. We'll probably start out with one episode a week for that as well. Look for more information within the next month or 2 on that.

In case anyone reading this is unaware, we do not have a traditional social media presence. Most of the people who have subscribed have found the site after I posted a few articles on NextDoor, but most of my social media engagement actually takes place on the fediverse, and the report can be subscribed to through there. All new posts are shared out from a bot account within 15 minutes of being published. If you follow our content related to the School Board you may have watched the videos which we upload to the fediverse as well. These social platforms are not ad driven and are free for anyone to sign up and use. I run them in my spare time, and they have active communities which are not being manipulated by algorithms. If you are tired of manipulated content, feel free to try them out.

I am planning on standing up a dedicated instance for the report in the future, but funds that I can allocate toward this are short at the moment. We will be getting rid of the Hubzilla instance that I run at hub.charlestown.social because it receives very little traffic, and I don't feel like the other protocols it can use outside of ActivityPub have anywhere near as much potential for future use. So many fedi-services are using activity pub today, and I was never even able to get that protocol working as expected in Hubzilla anyway.

So, subscribers, thank you for following along as we continue to find our way as an online publisher. Hopefully we haven't lost your attention. There is more to come in the coming weeks. I have several articles in the draft process now and we'll be working to complete them soon. We may not be the first source to break a story, but I assure you we'll do everything we can to uncover as much detail around nuanced issues that are often muddied by those that want to control a narrative. If you find what we offer valuable and want to contribute in a financial way, we are running on a value for value model. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to pop over to matrix or the fediverse.

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Jamie Larson