Simon Davis-Cohen

is creating the Ear to the Ground newsletter!

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About

Thank you for your interest in the Ear to the Ground newsletter!

Like you, we are drowning in the viral news cycle and bombarded by online algorithms that try to predict our every want, interest, and friend—and even determine the stories we read.

The social media bubble is distorting our perspective. We are told to balance our news input, but this often just means looking at the other side of the same coin. The opinions change, but the news stay the same.

This newsletter is interested in 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 left out?

This newsletter focuses primarily on 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.

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 focuses on under-appreciated sources of information: local newspapers, state legislatures, organizations, industry sources and court watchdogs. The newsletter will mine these and other, less-frequented, sources of information and report back… to you!

Did you know some sheriffs use mandatory checkpoints to collect drivers’ identities? Have you stayed up-to-date with the avalanche of regressive state bills being proposed and passed? Did you know that some drought-stricken states are expanding use of cloud seeding? Do you track new municipal laws? Are you aware of the many lawsuits being brought by large private corporations against local governments? 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 attacks on local and state ballot initiative processes (which are an increasingly important tool for popular social movements)? Municipal ballot initiatives? The accelerating corporatization of detention center and jail healthcare services? 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? Or protest suppression laws, both blatant and sneaky? How about local privatization of government services? Did you know that some states are rescinding their financial support for local newspapers? What about farmworker strikes?

But there's also lots of good news.

Subscribe to learn more and receive essential civic intelligence directly to your inbox! Keep your Ear to the Ground! The world is changing.

Where we are coming from.

We are not proposing more muckraking journalism. Though indispensible, the muckraking paradigm tends to focus on scandals, wrongdoing and egregious examples of injustice. We are interested in trends, truths sitting in plain sight, new realities, which often only gain the attention of media outlets after the fact, or when a particularly engaging example can be profiled.

The 21st century demands new forms of information gathering and civic intelligence, to track the world as it emerges, so we are better prepared to fight for the world we want. With the help of you and some of your friends, we can make a modest, though important, contribution to this vital task.

Subscribe today! Spread the word!

What you can expect.

For as little as $1/month you will receive roughly two briefings per month. There will be lots of stories, but they won't be long—they will be short paragraphs, so you can get on with your day.

Subscribe, it’s cheaper than a Subway sandwich!

Our final pitch:

Corporate intelligence services cost thousands of dollars, and government intelligence agencies rarely publish their findings. People acting in the public interest need an affordable alternative!

Please give what you can. We want to make the service available to a wide audience, for $1/month. However, larger contributions will be instrumental in helping us grow and improve the service for you and everyone else. Your money will be quickly put to work.

Try us out for a few months—you can always cancel.

We promise original reporting, dinner table conversation starters and information your algorithm won’t tell you!

So tell your friends!


You can get in touch: [email protected]
Goals
$300 of $700 per month
To keep us afloat.
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