Today, September 17th, 2020, Broad + Liberty celebrates its first birthday. As we reflect upon the last year of offering perspectives that are increasingly completely shut out by other outlets, and on fighting for political, cultural, and economic freedom in local – under rather dire circumstances – we keep coming back to the same foundational questions:
Will the policies that undermine opportunity, independence, prosperity, and fairness in the city of Philadelphia and our greater region continue to go unanswered, with a press corps that simply nods along, such that the obstacles being placed in our faces continue to compound the social challenges we see?
Can a small group of us reverse this trend, so that our region once again shines as an example of what self-determined citizens can accomplish?
And, can we prevent the decline and self-sabotage of the media by offering stories and perspectives that matter beyond a small fringe of woke readers?
You can join us, today. Broad + Liberty is a non-profit media endeavor that relies on the donations of regular people who support our mission of offering perspectives and stories that are completely shut out elsewhere – and believe in the healing and positive effect this can have on our civic culture.
The reality is that we live in an increasingly fractured and divided political landscape. The founders of Broad + Liberty are responding to a foundational trend in America: the decline of local media and civic institutions has further eroded the ability of communities to respond to the problems that most directly affect our quality of life.
Meanwhile, the so-called social justice movement has amassed a well-financed, national effort to appropriate local policy debate on issues relating to public education, public safety, local economic development policy, and more.
The Philadelphia region, including Southeastern Pennsylvania, is now ground zero for this effort, with organizations such as George Soros’ PA Justice & Safety PAC, Tom Steyer’s For Our Future PAC, The Progressive Turnout Project, and The Progressive Prosecutor’s Project, to name just a few, influencing policy actions daily.
Newsroom budgets – especially those of local outlets – have been slashed and editorial boards, university administrators, and corporate leaders have succumbed more and more to groupthink and intellectual tribalism. Our public discourse has been stifled. This results in fewer informed citizens engaged in local public policy-making, undercuts our system of federalism, and weakens the very institutions that form the foundation of our constitutional framework.
If this all-out assault on truths we regard as self-evident continues unabated, our region and our country will continue to undergo a social and political realignment, with profound implications for freedoms across the Commonwealth and beyond.
What we do in response matters. In less than a year of operation, Broad + Liberty has notched some early successes. We’ve featured hundreds of editorials whose authors deserve a platform, but cannot find one elsewhere. We’ve showcased the voices of victims of “progressive” law enforcement policies in Philadelphia, who are being ignored by other outlets. We influenced reporting on Philadelphia’s elimination of library fines – and a larger “culture of free stuff” – in the nation’s largest newspaper, the New York Times. And, in the face of the inability of our blinkered media corps to hold politicians of one side (we all know which side) to account, we became the only press outlet in the state to demand the firing of our state’s health director in response to her disastrous policy of forcing nursing homes to accept Covid-positive patients – all while she quietly moved her elderly mother into a luxury hotel.
Broad + Liberty has established itself as an outlet that is devoted to free speech and honest expression of what people are thinking on the street – after all, the original point of the journalistic endeavor – and as an influential policy voice that provides a credible and authentic platform for free thinkers to speak out. We are offering an accountability framework for local and regional government that is otherwise completely non-existent.
Our work is essential to building a new ecosystem of thought to shape the future of Philadelphia and beyond. We consider it a privilege to do so and an honor to have your support. Happy Birthday, Broad + Liberty.
The Editors of Broad + Liberty