Dear readers of The Declaration,
Since co-editors Dustin Slaughter and Kenneth Lipp founded this site in January 2013, it has been an all-volunteer labor of love. We covered the Delaware Valley Intelligence Center and the Ferguson solidarity protests in November and December 2014 (Philly’s largest demonstrations in years), among many other stories.
We brought you major exclusives, such as the questioning of a local activist by the Philadelphia Police Department’s Homeland Security Unit and the full report of the grand jury that investigated the 1985 MOVE bombing. And we did it all with no budget.
That’s about to change. I’m excited to announce that, over the next few months, The Declaration will be forming a permanent business entity and will receive some the funds necessary to begin to pay our writers, new and old. Our passion has always shone in our work, but now, we’ll begin to have the structure on which to make our passion sustainable.
Our stories and updates have come quickly at times, only to slow for another span before picking up again. The changes we’re in the process of making will ensure that our breaking coverage and investigative stories reach you more consistently.
And what a set of stories: in the coming months, we’ll be reporting on a serious, as-yet-unreported flaw in the PPD’s collaborative reform process, new twists and turns in the ever-continuing story of police corruption, the trial of Keonna Thomas, a local women who allegedly tried to join the Islamic State and much more.
We’re also bringing on new writers, with wide-ranging areas of expertise. Jack Grauer, whose work we’ve shared here before, will be joining us as a staff writer, and Colleen Kennedy, another frequent guest, will come on board as a contributor. We’re also in the process of bringing on other interested contributors; if you’ve always wanted to write for one of Philadelphia’s last remaining alternative sources, look no further!
We can’t share too many details just yet, but we can say that all of these changes will be operational by May or June of this year. During that time period and after, we’re also going to be raising money to complement the sum we already have, so if you’re a reader and want to support our effort, we would greatly appreciate any support you could give.
The Declaration‘s tagline is “Born of Necessity.” The factors that made our voice necessary haven’t changed in the three years we’ve been operational. In some ways, the need is more dire. City Paper is dead and a number of great journalists at our local print media behemoth have also been laid off, leaving fewer critical eyes than ever focused on the workings of this city. With our new resources, we’re looking forward to doing our part to meet these challenges.
Austin Nolen, Managing Editor
To inquire about writing for or donating to The Declaration, please contact Austin at austin [at] spiritnews [dot] org.