LAist Needs Your Help. Rise To The Challenge

Reporters (from left to right) Emily Guerin, Sharon McNary and Emily Elena Dugdale wear masked sewn by Sharon to keep our journalists safe. (Compiled by Chava Sanchez/LAist)

I'm Megan Garvey, LAist Executive Editor. The last month has been like nothing I've ever experienced in my more than two decades as a professional journalist — and I've covered many big stories in the past.

Our reporters and editors are working tirelessly seven days a week to provide you and your community with up-to-the-minute news on the coronavirus crisis here in Southern California. Our engagement team — which is focused on reaching new audiences and connecting with our existing audience — has personally responded to more than 1,400 of your questions.

We haven't slowed down for one minute. In fact, we've accelerated, providing more stories and at a faster pace than ever before. We've kept our promise to make sure you are informed and prepared at a deeply local level.

Now, in this time of crisis, we need your help to keep that going.

My simple proposal: support our journalistic efforts today with a donation to LAist.

Why? Because without you, this doesn't work and LAist goes away.

We've watched in recent days as other local newsrooms lose even more jobs or shut down completely. The New York Times used the word "ravaged" to describe what has happened to American journalism in this pandemic. At the same time, the public service journalism we produce day in and day out has never been more important in our lifetimes. Never.

We know many, many people are feeling financial pain right now. But if you are able, we need you to join us right now. It's true that you can still read our content even if you never give, but our non-profit model works because people like you believe in our mission and step up with financial support.

Immediately, we are looking for 700 LAist readers to donate by May 15 to unlock a $10,000 challenge issued by LAist supporter Dr. Leonard Lipman of Santa Monica. I believe that's a goal we can crush. Millions of readers have sought out LAist in recent weeks for our top-notch coverage but very few — so few it's statistically irrelevant — have donated to support us.

Our newsroom on a Zoom call today going over our finances and plans. (Chava Sanchez / LAist)

I'm heartened by the start of our fundraising drive today. Already, more than 140 people have stepped up to give (me included). I know what it takes to keep newsrooms running and I know the value of both local and national outlets and support many with subscriptions and donations.

I also believe that we offer something unique. We have committed to:

  • Helping you understand the changing reality here in Southern California
  • Helping prepare you to confront what's ahead
  • Providing guidance to everyone (us included) on how to do their best to slow the spread of this deadly disease.

If you've valued our daily newsletter with fact-checked local reporting, or read The LATEST daily news updates online, or appreciated our deeply-reported investigative journalism take a moment to power this work with a tax-deductible gift today.

Our members have kept our newsroom strong. The journalism you read here is powered by the newsroom of Southern California Public Radio, which is also home to the new LAist Studios podcast operation and KPCC, the top National Public Radio affiliate in L.A.

Now, we are asking our readers to do their part to support local journalism. Your support is essential to our existence.

Thank you,

Megan Garvey

Executive Editor, LAist

p.s. The iconic LAist avocado stress ball returns: snag this bonus gift with a donation in any amount, while supplies last!