JP Sottile is creating News Analysis, Long-Form Journalism & the RUNDOWN
39

patrons

$399
per month


The RUNDOWN began in 2012 as my response to getting fired by a news aggregator that made a lot of money by simply cutting and pasting articles onto its website. Someone else did the work and we just took it. This simple act of “stealing” stories wasn't just an ethical problem for those of us doing the cutting and pasting. It also denied the authors, reporters and news outlets the one and only thing that really matters in the wild west of the internet … and that's clicks.

If someone was reading a great investigative piece or a sharp op-ed on this pirating website … that meant they weren't reading it at the source. And that meant the originating source didn't get those all-important clicks and that, in turn, meant they couldn't get their well-earned share of the internet's often paltry ad revenue pie. And they desperately need that revenue to FUND their reporting, to PAY good opinion writers and, perhaps most glaringly, to shoulder the high costs often associated with investigative journalism. So, we were stealing more than stories. We were stealing the traffic that should've been their just reward for investing in good journalism.

Not surprisingly, my tumultuous, trouble-making time at the “pirate site” was short. But I also knew that the basic premise was sound. People wanted and needed a curated source of news that turned each day’s surging “fire hose” of information into a manageable, drinkable stream. The key was to do it ethically and to make certain that those who actually did the work got the clicks … so they had an incentive to do more good work.

And that’s why I started the RUNDOWN.

Now you know why I stack the unaltered headlines over the exposed URLs. At first, it was only meant to direct people to the ORIGINAL SOURCE … instead of driving traffic to a website I owned and could thereby profit from by using that traffic to sell ads. Rather, the RUNDOWN guides you to the source of each story.

I quickly realized that the exposed URLs also functioned as an expanding catalog of websites and a de facto roadmap of differing sources that had differing takes on the same story. Readers who skim the headlines see the full range of sources and viewpoints available out there on the interwebs. For an obsessed curator (like Your Friendly Neighborhood Newsvandal) this also presented an opportunity to use the headlines to tell a bigger story—a “meta-story”—that, if you just read them in order, gives you a macro-level narrative look at the newscycle. You might even find joke in there, too.

That’s the trick, BTW. Just read the headlines through from top to bottom and you’ll get a good “cheat sheet” sense of what’s happening. Then go back and dive deeply into the stories that grab you. Or just click as you go. Either way, I believe the RUNDOWN does something unique … it consistently presents you with stories and viewpoints you’d not otherwise find inside one the web's algorithmically generated echo chambers.

It’s been over six years since I started this effort. The RUNDOWN has been recently redesigned and, thanks to the contributions of my patrons, it is finally smartphone-friendly and easily accessible through MailChimp. And, yes, that brings me around to something I suck at … and that’s asking for support. Trust me, it all helps … even if it's two or five bucks per month here on Patreon.

Or, if you'd prefer ... you can go check out some of my hyper-linked, long-form journalism over at Newsvandal.com and then drop a tip in my PayPal tip jar. And if you can't afford to do either of those things? No worries. The RUNDOWN will not retreat behind a paywall. It's important to me that it stays accessible to all.

Even more importantly, I'm planning to expand Newsvandal's offerings in the coming months. So, stay tuned and thanks again for your time and support. – JP
Tiers
Pledge $2 or more per month
7 patrons
Two bucks chucked into the kitty is welcomed and appreciated. Thanks! - Your Friendly Neighborhood Newsvandal
Pledge $5 or more per month
9 patrons
A fiver helps to make the RUNDOWN possible. Thanks! - Your Friendly Neighborhood Newsvandal
Pledge $10 or more per month
9 patrons
This is way cheaper than a newspaper. But it's a big assist. Cheers! - Your Friendly Neighborhood Newsvandal
Pledge $25 or more per month
10 patrons
Still cheaper than the New York Times, but you'll get a shout-out on Twitter because this is a big deal. Rock on! - Your Friendly Neighborhood Newsvandal
Pledge $50 or more per month
1 patron
Now you're cooking with gas. Thank you-thank you! I hope you are on Twitter so I can give you a shout-out. - Your Friendly Neighborhood Newsvandal
Pledge $100 or more per month
0 patrons
This level of support is really amazing. In addition to a special "on the air" shout-out ... I will reach out personally thank you. - Your Friendly Neighborhood Newsvandal
Goals
$399 of $1,200 per month
This the a monthly goal to sustain the daily production of the NEWSVANDAL RUNDOWN. Meeting this goal would also help fund expansion of the RUNDOWN's reach through promoted posts and social media outreach. RUNDOWN Example
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The RUNDOWN began in 2012 as my response to getting fired by a news aggregator that made a lot of money by simply cutting and pasting articles onto its website. Someone else did the work and we just took it. This simple act of “stealing” stories wasn't just an ethical problem for those of us doing the cutting and pasting. It also denied the authors, reporters and news outlets the one and only thing that really matters in the wild west of the internet … and that's clicks.

If someone was reading a great investigative piece or a sharp op-ed on this pirating website … that meant they weren't reading it at the source. And that meant the originating source didn't get those all-important clicks and that, in turn, meant they couldn't get their well-earned share of the internet's often paltry ad revenue pie. And they desperately need that revenue to FUND their reporting, to PAY good opinion writers and, perhaps most glaringly, to shoulder the high costs often associated with investigative journalism. So, we were stealing more than stories. We were stealing the traffic that should've been their just reward for investing in good journalism.

Not surprisingly, my tumultuous, trouble-making time at the “pirate site” was short. But I also knew that the basic premise was sound. People wanted and needed a curated source of news that turned each day’s surging “fire hose” of information into a manageable, drinkable stream. The key was to do it ethically and to make certain that those who actually did the work got the clicks … so they had an incentive to do more good work.

And that’s why I started the RUNDOWN.

Now you know why I stack the unaltered headlines over the exposed URLs. At first, it was only meant to direct people to the ORIGINAL SOURCE … instead of driving traffic to a website I owned and could thereby profit from by using that traffic to sell ads. Rather, the RUNDOWN guides you to the source of each story.

I quickly realized that the exposed URLs also functioned as an expanding catalog of websites and a de facto roadmap of differing sources that had differing takes on the same story. Readers who skim the headlines see the full range of sources and viewpoints available out there on the interwebs. For an obsessed curator (like Your Friendly Neighborhood Newsvandal) this also presented an opportunity to use the headlines to tell a bigger story—a “meta-story”—that, if you just read them in order, gives you a macro-level narrative look at the newscycle. You might even find joke in there, too.

That’s the trick, BTW. Just read the headlines through from top to bottom and you’ll get a good “cheat sheet” sense of what’s happening. Then go back and dive deeply into the stories that grab you. Or just click as you go. Either way, I believe the RUNDOWN does something unique … it consistently presents you with stories and viewpoints you’d not otherwise find inside one the web's algorithmically generated echo chambers.

It’s been over six years since I started this effort. The RUNDOWN has been recently redesigned and, thanks to the contributions of my patrons, it is finally smartphone-friendly and easily accessible through MailChimp. And, yes, that brings me around to something I suck at … and that’s asking for support. Trust me, it all helps … even if it's two or five bucks per month here on Patreon.

Or, if you'd prefer ... you can go check out some of my hyper-linked, long-form journalism over at Newsvandal.com and then drop a tip in my PayPal tip jar. And if you can't afford to do either of those things? No worries. The RUNDOWN will not retreat behind a paywall. It's important to me that it stays accessible to all.

Even more importantly, I'm planning to expand Newsvandal's offerings in the coming months. So, stay tuned and thanks again for your time and support. – JP

Recent posts by JP Sottile

Tiers
Pledge $2 or more per month
7 patrons
Two bucks chucked into the kitty is welcomed and appreciated. Thanks! - Your Friendly Neighborhood Newsvandal
Pledge $5 or more per month
9 patrons
A fiver helps to make the RUNDOWN possible. Thanks! - Your Friendly Neighborhood Newsvandal
Pledge $10 or more per month
9 patrons
This is way cheaper than a newspaper. But it's a big assist. Cheers! - Your Friendly Neighborhood Newsvandal
Pledge $25 or more per month
10 patrons
Still cheaper than the New York Times, but you'll get a shout-out on Twitter because this is a big deal. Rock on! - Your Friendly Neighborhood Newsvandal
Pledge $50 or more per month
1 patron
Now you're cooking with gas. Thank you-thank you! I hope you are on Twitter so I can give you a shout-out. - Your Friendly Neighborhood Newsvandal
Pledge $100 or more per month
0 patrons
This level of support is really amazing. In addition to a special "on the air" shout-out ... I will reach out personally thank you. - Your Friendly Neighborhood Newsvandal