We’re only three months away from 2022, and yet the year has already proven to be groundbreaking for The Urbanist. Last fall, we set readership records during the month of October, supported by our comprehensive coverage of the Northgate Link light rail expansion. We were hoping to replicate these numbers at some point in 2022, but instead found ourselves immediately surpassing them in January, which was followed by a further increase in readership in February, taking us to new highs. .
In the record month of February, more than 181,000 readers have visited our publicationaccording to Google Analytics.
As an editor, even as I consider these numbers for what seems like the hundredth time, I remain surprised, honored and inspired by them because they indicate that people are interested in the topics we cover and care about values. of our organization. Now, for complete transparency, we’ve had an article by reporter Ray Dubicki about why Washington COs should move to Tacoma go viral in February, but lest you think we should ditch the city planning and politics of sports coverage, we had other very successful articles. also that month, such as an All Aboard Washington op-ed on Amtrak’s statewide expansion of railroading, an article I wrote about 734 proposed homes in the University Village Safeway redevelopment plan, and a heart cry from editor Stephen Fesler calling on Sound Transit to prioritize rider experience and “take a mulligan” on deep station design for the West Seattle and Ballard Link light rail lines.
The redesign of our website has greatly contributed to the increase in our readership. This work was undertaken by Stephen, who has been an integral part of The Urbanist team since the organization’s earliest days. Stephen carried out the redesign project as a volunteer, which saved us thousands of dollars in expenses and produced a functional and attractive website that does justice to the quality of the writing we publish. We are all very grateful to him for his hard work and commitment to the success of The Urbanist.
Our new website has made it easier than ever to read the articles we publish, but even with the new platform we wouldn’t attract such a high readership without people being genuinely interested in the topics we are about. let’s write. While some may see us as a niche publication, the issues we address are anything but niche. Affordable housing, public transit, walkable communities, urban policy centered on inclusivity and safety for all, the climate crisis (and more) are topics that are at the center of the most important challenges facing our society. faced today. When it comes to these problems, the solutions we adopt – or the mistakes we make – matter, both to people living today and to future generations. More and more people are reading The Urbanist because of the importance and relevance of what we write.
This is also why the L’Urbaniste team wishes to continue to expand and professionalize our publication. Thanks to the support of readers like you, we’ve been able to move from an all-volunteer team to one where we have dedicated staff, a shift that helps explain why we’re reaching more people. I can testify first-hand to how changing from a long-time volunteer to a paid staff member made all the difference in terms of the time I could devote to The Urbanist. The success of fundraisers like this will allow us to compensate our writers more.both within the organization and to new hires and freelancers, so that we can continue to achieve more with our work and also operate more fairly as an organization.
It is clear that the issues we are reporting extend beyond Seattle city lines and that some of the most significant developments and changes are occurring in other areas of our metro area. To increase our coverage of Bellevue and the Eastside, we have recruited Christopher Randels, an extremely capable reporter from Bellevue City Hall, as a part-time reporter to assist us in this effort. One of our new writers (who also has excellent GIS mapping skills), Kevin Le, has also done a great job on important topics in Tacoma, another Puget Sound town deserving of focused coverage.
If you enjoy what we publish and want more high quality articles to read, now is the time to subscribe or donate to The Urbanist. The support we have received from readers, contributors and volunteers has enabled us to accomplish a lot, but there is still a lot of work to be done. With the expansion of the Link light rail transit, our metro area has the chance to undergo a paradigm shift towards equity, sustainability and a better quality of life for all residents. But this will require informed and active citizens pushing for change, and The Urbanist’s advocacy journalism will continue to play a crucial role as we move forward.
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