Real Change, the International Examiner, and the South Seattle Emerald are collaborating to better serve our readers. As community-based nonprofit publications, we are dedicated to serving our communities, we are proud of what we publish, and thank you for your positive comments, financial support, and awards. But, over the past two years, we know things have changed and may never get back to “normal.” We need to hear from you, our readers.

Thanks to a Seattle Foundation grant, our three publications are launching a joint reader survey. During these past two years, the International Examiner lost its usual means of distribution of its twice-monthly paper as community restaurants and businesses closed. Real Change had to pivot to provide survival resources to their vendors, who also lost their weekly customer base. At the same time, with more time at home, the Emerald’s online readership increased dramatically to nearly 2 million views in 2021.

Joy Borkholder, a South End research-focused investigative journalist, has helped us develop the survey and will analyze the results. Have more parts of our community been gentrified out of Seattle? Are we covering the kinds of stories you want to read? Are we missing certain stories that need to be told? Are there demographic differences amongst readers of our three publications or other media? How are you surviving — and thriving — as masks are disappearing, but the coronavirus produces ever-changing variants?

We’re transitioning now. Real Change vendors are back outside stores and cafes selling their street paper. The International Examiner is rebuilding distribution throughout greater Seattle. And the Emerald has added new leadership to its team.

“This is a great opportunity to get to know the priorities and the background of readers who support community-based journalism. It will help all three publications produce news readers care about as well as learn how we can work together to leverage our media platforms,” says Jill Hyesun Wasberg, editor in chief of the International Examiner.

Real Change’s last reader survey was conducted in 2018. Editor Ashley Archibald knows how important current reader responses are. “It’s critical for Real Change, as a newspaper, to continue to get feedback so that we can remain accountable to the community and make our paper something that people want to engage with. We’re proud to work with the Emerald and the International Examiner in that effort.”

According to Emerald founder/publisher, Marcus Harrison Green, “This information couldn’t come at a better time when so much has changed during these past two years; we can’t assume everything is the same. It also gives the Emerald’s new executive director, Michael McPhearson, a great opportunity to learn specifics about our diverse communities as he reaches out to meet them.”

This survey process is the opposite of those annoying “surveys” that are really requests for funds from all manner of organizations, issues, and candidates. The first 200 respondents to our survey will be eligible for a drawing of $10 gift cards from independent South End coffee shops from Beacon Hill to the Rainier Valley, from Renton to White Center. Gift card winners — 60 randomly selected names from the first 200 survey respondents — will be notified by email after the completion of the survey.

Please take the time to let us know how we can accurately tell your stories and be part of helping our communities recover and thrive.

Tell us what you think in our Reader Survey!

The International Examiner, Real Change, and South Seattle Emerald’s Reader Survey is funded in part by a grant from the Vibrant Democracy Initiative’s Partnership Mobilization program at the Seattle Foundation.

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