The hardest story to write
I’m writing with news I hoped I’d never have to report. After nearly seven years publishing some of the most provocative and memorable food stories in journalism, The Counter will cease publication on May 20.
We are journalists in a community of journalists; we know there will be follow-up questions. The reasons are many, but the shorthand is this: We do not have sufficient future funding to keep publishing. When that reality becomes non-negotiable, the question isn’t whether to go on; it’s how quickly can we wind down with intention and care?
Building a nonprofit newsroom from the ground up is a singular experience. And our work has often mirrored the most important conversations outside of it. Who should tell this story? What should they be paid? When did facts become fungible? Where will readers find stories that matter to them, written by people like them? Why do we do things the way we do?
Since we started publishing in 2015, I’ve believed that the best food stories aren’t about food, they’re about people. If you are a person—reader, writer, farmer, worker, advocate, politico, wonk, or curious eater—who found a home at The Counter, we did what we came to do. If you’ve only just discovered us, I hope what you’ve read inspires you to keep asking questions, take action, or learn more.
It takes so much more than money to tell the kinds of stories we do here. So, before I sign off, let me encourage you to follow (and hire! and collaborate with! and talk to!) the people behind The Counter. There are so many stories left to tell.
Thanks for reading,