Reflections on three years of writing Supercreator
Plus: What’s next for the newsletter next year and beyond.
👋🏾 Hi, hey, hello! Thanks to everyone who wished Supercreator a happy anniversary last week. Your emails, texts, voice notes, phone calls and DMs were so kind and I’m grateful that many of you appreciate reading this newsletter as much as I love writing it.
As I’ve reflected on my third year running Supercreator, I’ve also been thinking about journalism as a craft and practice. The job of a journalist, I believe, is to document the truth. And for too long, the arbiters of truth have been white, straight-presenting men who report and write for wealthy and well-connected audiences that don’t look like me or the people from my communities.
Sure, meaningful industry progress has been made in recent years and I’ve definitely benefitted from the prestige that comes with working at legacy media organizations. But there are still all sorts of editorial limitations that make practicing journalism in traditional newsrooms challenging for women, Black and brown people, LGBTQ folks, and people with disabilities.
So three years ago, I launched this newsletter with the hope that it would attract a crowd of smart, curious and inspired people who recognized that politics — with all its warts — is an entree that can not only help you reclaim your seat at the table but also decide what’s served on the menu. I wanted it to serve as a resource that deepened your understanding of the politicians, power brokers and policies shaping how we work and live in the new economy. And I believed a private email to your inbox was the most efficient way to elevate your media diet, which can often be compromised by too much digital junk food.
Along the way, but especially over the past year, you all have proven my thesis: There is a need for sharp reporting and analysis for an influential audience that mainstream outlets often perceive as “too niche” to prioritize. I’ve also been heartened by the policymakers, congressional aides, former and current White House officials and political operatives who read Supercreator to unravel the issues that matter to the creative class.
I’m proud of the work this newsletter has published during year three, including coverage of the evolving pandemic, the war in Ukraine, the wrongful detention of Brittney Griner, the confirmation of Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, President Joe Biden’s student debt relief program, the 2022 midterms, and, as recently as yesterday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s announcement that she will step aside as the top House Democrat, making room for a diverse trio of new party leaders.
And in the upcoming year, I plan to go even deeper into the corridors of power to chronicle the new Congress, now with a Republican-controlled House and Democratic-led Senate — and what it means for President Biden’s legislative agenda (and how it affects the health, wealth and well-being of digital creators and young people). I’ll also track the president’s re-election campaign if he, as most insiders expect, runs for a second term in 2024. And I’ll also keep tabs on the advocacy groups that often shape the policy debate long before it bubbles up to Capitol Hill.
This will require support so here’s where I ask you to subscribe to the newsletter if you haven’t already. While Supercreator has an accessible price point, I’m offering 30 percent off your annual subscription between now and Cyber Monday, November 28, so you don’t have to cut too much into your holiday gift budget. (The discount is automatically applied at checkout, no link is required.) Because corporate news organizations are becoming less safe and stable places for reporters to produce their journalism. And I believe now as much as I did three years ago that worker-owned, reader-supported media can help journalists restore trust with news consumers, hold power to account and pursue innovative storytelling methods.
Your subscription pays for the labor required to generate story ideas, talk to as many people as my deadline will allow, clarify and confirm what I’ve learned, and organize disparate threads into thoughtful narratives — all while trying to beat your competitors in the process and hoping a few more subscribers will pay me to do more of it. It also covers the expenses for travel and meetings and the costs of the media subscriptions I pay to supplement my reporting.
The depth of coverage I hope to pursue in the next year will also require more time for original reporting to talk to insiders across the political spectrum, read academic research, interview newsmakers and pull on nondescript strings to see if they could be spun into larger stories.
As a result, after the Thanksgiving break, Supercreator will transition to a twice-weekly cadence that will deliver posts from me on Tuesday and Friday.
The Tuesday post will be for paid subscribers only and focus on the nitty-gritty of national politics and public policy and the obvious and obscure ways that race, gender and class pick who wins and loses in the online creator industry. And on Fridays, I’ll send the free post, which will provide a window into the week that was with the newsiest nuggets from my notebook on what’s happening at the White House, on Capitol Hill and in the culture — plus the popular “Read All About It” section. I’ll also continue to experiment with the new private conversation space in the Substack app that enables me to post short prompts, thoughts, and updates that come my way — and for you to jump into the discussion.
I think this updated paid-free model will make sure I can support the business and deliver premium subscribers with a richer reading experience while keeping some of my journalism free for all and uninterrupted by ads, autoplay videos and sponsored content.
As I’ve said before, one of the reasons many creators I know are turned off by politics is that we’ve been trained to only participate in democracy in extraordinary times of crisis or during election campaigns. But it’s the ordinary moments that determine who gets to be seen, heard and acknowledged when it matters the most. And I understand that most days it feels like it’s too much to keep up with. But Supercreator exists to help you feel less overwhelmed by it all so can hold politicians accountable for your vote and your values. I’m looking forward to advancing this mission in the next year and beyond.
See you after Thanksgiving!
Supercreator is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a paid subscriber.