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Media is crumbling. We keep going.

Join our spring 2021 fundraising drive and help take Tone Madison to the next level.

On most days, the thought of crawling through the open window and leaving all screens behind occupies my mind.

It’s easy to say you hate something you love. While this is not in reference to a romantic or platonic relationship, the subject is one many people fall in and out of love within a sick cyclical fashion. I’m talking about media.

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A promotional graphic for the Mad Lit events series shows the series' logo and text stating (8 p.m. until 11 p.m., Every other Friday, 100 block of state St. July 1st-October 7th. A collage of performers and audience members is visible to the right, and the logos of event sponsors are visible along the bottom.

Be it print journalism, digital media, broadcasting, television reporting, sports broadcasting, or on-air radio personalities, those in the industries, like everyone else, often ask themselves “what am I doing here?” on a regular basis.

The work can be tedious, fraught with head-to-desk impacts, self-doubt-inducing, and just plain grueling. If you spend your days covering breaking news, you are glued to devices, trying to be the first to update communities about issues that impact them, be it a traffic event or a horrible tragedy. If you work in the field of investigative or in-depth reporting, looking for one specific line in a document or hunting down someone’s phone number, business address, or email can be your entire day.

Tone Madison is a little different. Our team of contributors and scrappy editors spend their time digging through the quirks and quandaries of Madison’s cultural and political landscape. Recently our group chat has had some back and forth over a grammatical issue in a lengthy interview with a longstanding local band, herding and analyzing the political oafs that are somehow in charge of the state government, and agonizing over when to return to covering in-person events.

These topics are vital and light a fire under our team, but we are not immune to the realities of stressful hours, dreaded discourse, and shoe-string resources—all while watching long-standing outlets be gutted and reporters laid off—only to compete with the dummy-fast news cycle.

Tone Madison is launching a fundraiser to raise $10,000 to fund a part-time editorial position to alleviate workloads and help guide the future of our organization. We need your help to do this

We are not sounding an alarm to scare you into giving. We are also not pushing for large sums of money without accountability and reliance on volunteer labor (unlike some other outlets in the media sphere). In fact, we paid over $17,900 to local freelance writers, illustrators, and editors in 2020. 

Last year was a banner year for Tone Madison. You can see for yourself in our first-ever published annual report. We hope this gives you some insight into the work we are currently doing and the plans we have for the future. 

In the face of all the things we could say we hate about media, we are feeling surprisingly optimistic about all that we can do with your support. 

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Media is at a crossroads. Tone Madison is growing. We need financial support to sustain our future. You enjoy and rely on our coverage for stories.

Thanks to the generous support of some local readers and businesses, we are heading into our Spring fundraising campaign with $3,700 in matching funds that will make your donation count for even more.

That’s right: become a monthly Sustainer or make a one-time gift today and your gift will be doubled. 

And of course, we wouldn’t be where we are without the support of our current Sustainers. You keep us going. In addition to our overwhelming, belligerent gratitude, we want to thank you with an exclusive discount code for our May 13 virtual drawing event with semi-local Illustrator Rachal Duggan. Tickets are  $25 per person and only $15 for sustainers. Email us if you didn’t get your discount code and become a Sustainer today to get access to this exclusive offer. 

While everything continues to seem uncertain, one thing is clear: we would not be doing the work we love to hate (but in all honestly are immensely invested in) without your support.

Let’s build a future together. 

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