Check It Out!

by: Posted on: July 21, 2017

Read the Dirt is launching an affordable, exclusive newsletter that takes the model of a corporate intelligence service, and wields it for the public good.

We are proud to announce the Ear to the Ground exclusive newsletter.

You can learn more here:

The idea of the newsletter is to focus on the blind spots of the Information Age and mass media—and the urgent work needed to fill them.

What doesn’t go viral? What can’t algorithms predict? What is being left out?

There are many topics that journalism today overlooks. This newsletter will focus primarily on two: local life and state governments. We won’t be focusing on one town or state. Instead, we will scan for trends and unearth clues to new paradigms (examples below).

When we all look in the same direction, our collective perspective narrows, and, as a public, we become more easily taken by surprise. These times demand more.

So what are we to do?

A simple, straightforward thing we can do is decentralize where we get some of our information.

To do that, the Ear to the Ground newsletter is focusing on two under-appreciated sources of information: local newspapers and state legislatures. The newsletter will mine these and other, less-frequented, sources of information and report back… to you! (If you want).

Visit our Patreon page to learn more:

The newsletter costs $5/month. If you are unsure you want to subscribe but still want to stay in the loop, you can sign up for our free TinyLetter:

Here is a sampling of under-covered stories and trends the Ear to the Ground newsletter will be tracking:

Did you know sheriffs across the country use mandatory checkpoints to collect drivers’ identities? Have you stayed up-to-date with the avalanche of regressive state bills that were passed into law, so far this year? Did you know that some drought-stricken states are beginning to control where it rains by “seeding” clouds with airplanes? Are you aware of the many lawsuits being brought by large private corporations against local governments? Did you know that shady billionaires are astonishingly close to calling a national constitutional convention, which would be the first since 1787? Have you seen how they’re using this as leverage to lobby Congress? Have you heard about the new state-level anti-domestic terrorism laws? What about the crackdown on disenfranchised youth street “gangs”? The immigration laws being passed and proposed by state legislatures? The legal attacks on local and state ballot initiative processes (which are an increasingly important tool for popular social movements)? The corporatization of prison and jail healthcare services? Texas’s breathtaking anti-sanctuary city law? What about the laws that help state legislatures takeover public school districts, or, better yet, entire local governments? Are you staying in touch with the massive municipal debt crisis in the USA, and its countless effects and symptoms? Are you aware that many state legislatures are cracking down on municipal governments’ power to pass laws and tax wealth? Did you know that some states are rescinding their financial support for local newspapers?

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