It’s a Sink or Swim Year for CounterPunch

From left to right: Nichole Stephens, Becky Grant and Deva Wheeler.

CounterPunch was born as a tiny, hand-copied and folded newsletter. Fast forward from those humble beginnings, when Alexander Cockburn and Ken Silverstein were at the helm, to now and you’ll see the incredible evolution of CounterPunch. Our shiny, brand new website is not an excessive luxury. It’s a necessity to keep up with the frenetic pace of the ever-changing digital realm, so we can continue to disseminate CounterPunch to as many people as possible. It’s a sink-or-swim world. Sadly, many of our comrades have fallen and have been unable to keep pace with the demands of internet publishing , the endless upgrades, weekly adjustments and daily tweaks that are essential in order to remain a viable and viewable online site. But we all know being informed and educated is more important than ever. People are taking their education into our own hands now. Today, with Jeffrey and Joshua at the editorial lead, CounterPunch continues to navigate our way over rough seas. And this year has been more challenging than ever.

You’re fired up as you should be, with a world in chaos that needs more than a tune-up. People are rising up and demanding that we return to a life that’s better than the old normal. At CounterPunch, we’ve been fortunate to continue working through the pandemic, while readers were spending plenty of time reading new articles each day, the business office hasn’t had many beans to count. We thought times were tough in the past, but we all understand what that really means now. We chipped in by opening the digital titles cupboard, and have given away 2,400 free books since March to readers that have suddenly found they have the time to get to books they’ve wanted to read for years.

The continuing evolution of CounterPunch hasn’t been only sweetness and light this year, however, as we had to face the long-delayed, difficult decision of retiring the print edition of our magazine. Merely a handful of our readers were still print exclusive readers, and we had to cut the last thread two issues into the year. But, fear not, CounterPunch+ has launched and is in a grace period–free for all to read.

The CounterPunch team hasn’t wasted a minute. Our COVID project has been to completely redesign the website. The behind-the-scenes team, Andrew, Joshua, Deva and Tiffany have worked tirelessly to make the transition as smooth as possible. They continue to refine the site and are preparing for the full launch of CounterPunch+ in January 2021. If you’ve checked it out already, you know that your favorite columnists are easy to find, exclusive feature articles have already been posted and the culture section is still at hand. Additionally, you get all the special perks including a free copy of our latest digital book Hollow Resistance by CP favorite, Paul Street. The archives are in order – 26 years of newsletters and magazine – easily searchable. Keep checking back, because there’s more to come each week. Your feedback has been very helpful in fine-tuning, so please keep sending us ideas for how we can make the site deliver the content you need in a format that’s easy to read, find and share!

I’ll never stop missing the years spent working out of Alexander’s office. The din from my desk as he pecked away raucously at his keyboard, with Percy the Cockatiel on his shoulder, in his muck boots, fresh out the stable, home-brewed cider at arms-reach and ready at a moment’s notice to drop all that was in front of him to converse with one of you, when the old princess phone announced with its blurting trill that you were calling in. The requisite end-of-the-day glass of velvety red and chats about art or gardening and the latest town gossip were something to look forward to when it used to take an interminable 5-10 minutes to process one credit card transaction on the old dial-up internet connection. To say Alex loved the fund drive would be a gross understatement. Not only could he rest assured that for another year CounterPunch could march on, but he relished all the contact we had with our readers. Each check that came in was vindication that you appreciated what we were doing and wanted more. Each was a handshake and a pat on the back. And if somebody called in only to change an address, he didn’t hesitate to say “Pony up old boy! Don’t be a chiseler!” And above all, Alex said we must never stop having fun! But now we’re not popping corks … instead it’s Zoom meetings for the CounterPunch family, putting our heads together to keep the bow of the ship heading in the right direction. It’s still fun but we take our jobs seriously – CounterPunch must go on!

We are a global community. You are spread across the planet – over 7.5 million strong since March of this year! In a month 500,000 of you spend time on the CounterPunch site. We know not all of you can donate – it’s not always financially feasible, especially now, but we’re asking you, if you can afford to chip in, please send what you can. If we could boost our donor count from .05% of our readers to 2% with the same average donations, we’d only have to fundraise about every other year! CounterPunch is 100% reader supported. We don’t look to big foundations for support. It is each of you that sustains our mission-driven work: Publishing in-depth reporting and commentary, helping readers make informed assessments on the vital public issues of the day. Our readers are smart! You’re an intellectual lot who won’t just take the headlines at face value. You want substance and in-depth reporting and keen commentary and CounterPunch delivers it in the form of over original 100 articles each week – about 5,000 a year – contributed by 1,000 writers from every continent on the planet.

If you prefer, you can call us or mail a check:

PO Box 228
Petrolia, CA 95558

1 (707) 629-3683

Becky Grant is CounterPunch’s longtime business manager.