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Editorial Media

A New Chapter for Rewire.News

Jodi Jacobson

Today is my last day serving as president and editor in chief of Rewire.News.

For the past eight years, I have had the great honor and pleasure to serve as president and editor in chief of Rewire.News. Today is my last day serving in those roles, as both I and this beloved publication start new chapters.

Transitions like this are often bittersweet. But they also present opportunities: I will be taking on other challenges and learning more things, and the next president will bring new energy and vision to a publication that to date has achieved more than even I could have hoped.

In January 2012, Rewire.News (then RH Reality Check) embarked on an ambitious five-year strategic plan to dramatically expand our reporting on reproductive and sexual health, rights, and justice; increase and diversify our audience; and amplify the voices and perspectives of those most affected by the erosion of fundamental human rights in the United States. We grounded our strategy in what we already knew about our readers and our issues and based it on our deep desire to challenge erroneous and stigmatizing reporting often present in mainstream media outlets. We set out to ensure our reporting reflected an integrated justice perspective and aggressively sought to publish work by and about those in communities affected by inequity.

Seven years later, Rewire.News has become the outlet of record on reproductive and sexual justice. Day after day, we publish evidence-based news, analysis, and commentary proactively informing our readership on our core issues; reporting the facts when other outlets fail to do so; adding to the body of knowledge and informed debate; and countering falsehoods and misinformation spread by those who seek political gain from undermining public health and human rights. Our reporting is now regularly cited by other media, included in legal briefs, and used by state and federal legislators to shape public policy.

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The past few years have not been without challenges. As with others in the media industry—particularly those who do not have deep-pocketed corporate backers—Rewire.News has faced funding shortfalls amid an increasingly hostile environment for vulnerable groups. But Rewire.News’ staff and board have been and remain committed to this publication. I have no doubt that the next president, expected to be on board in early 2020, will usher in a new era for the publication and face such challenges head-on.

Rewire.News is the product of many people, all of them devoted to excellence in their work; there truly are too many people who have worked with us throughout these years to name them all. While some of our folks are more visible than others, it is important to note that it takes a village to produce a daily publication. In addition to those reporting and editing the news, we employ professionals working behind the scenes to ensure our content looks as good as possible, is factually sound, and is shared widely across online platforms. And there is the area of administration, which gets too little attention relative to its importance in the daily functioning of any publication or organization.

While our work is truly a team effort, it is also deeply important, I feel, to recognize the management team, which has worked tirelessly to navigate through the challenges of a daily online publication. I am also indebted to the many foundations that have and continue to support the work of Rewire.News. Without them—and without their willingness to invest in journalism at a time of great need—we would not be here. They funded a vision that will continue to live on long after today. I am, of course, also thankful to our board of directors, which has helped us weather many challenges over the past several years and which will guide Rewire.News through the next decade and hopefully beyond.

And I am thankful to you, the readers and supporters of Rewire.News, because we would not be here without you. I look forward to joining you as a reader and supporter and celebrating the publication’s continued success for years to come.

There is so much work to do to protect our fundamental rights, fight against the spread of fascism, and speak truth to power. Without a functioning democracy, we can’t promote reproductive and sexual justice anywhere. While I look forward to personally continuing that work in other ways, I also look forward to watching Rewire.News play a leading role as a media outlet committed to the very best of journalism.

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