As I write this, the omicron peak appears to have passed, or so they say. As we all weigh the pros and cons of setting foot out of our doors each day, we’re reminded that we live in a changed world that is both indescribable and familiar. Yet, amid the madness that is now, Global Press has progress and hope to share.
Over the last two years, Global Press reporters have made a pronounced entry into the lives of millions of readers who have come to rely on their coverage. But who are those readers? In 2021, we invested in learning more about them. We conducted audience research in key countries, including Zimbabwe, Mexico and, for the first time, the United States. What we learned was powerful — life-affirming, even: Disaster-driven narratives aren’t compelling now. When the whole world is dying, the old trope of “if it bleeds, it leads” falls flat. And in this moment, readers are looking to a new corps of reporters, those with the proximity and the access to tell accurate and inclusive stories about our world.
As a result, Global Press Journal saw direct readership and news partnerships grow in nearly every coverage country, where readers were hungry for the stories beyond the 24-hour cycle. Our research affirmed that we are serving an important and under-served global audience too — some 65% of regular U.S.-based readers have significant international connection to one or more Global Press Journal coverage countries, identifying as members of diaspora, migrant or refugee communities. In the years ahead, we will continue to invest in serving these important communities, doing what the great Carroll Bogert of the Marshall Project calls choosing to “prioritize audiences you can’t monetize.”
Prioritization has become a critical skill in the pandemic era. I’m proud that Global Press was built to prioritize a simple but all-too-uncommon premise — exceptional journalism requires exceptional journalism jobs. Duty of Care and person-first employment remain the key ingredients in our success. Throughout the trials of the last two years, our reporters have excelled, knowing they will always have free, unlimited access to mental health services, PPE, strong salaries, health benefits and the autonomy to determine their own risk profiles.
Audience data and journalist security are two important topics in this annual report. But my goal this year is to bring you beyond the numbers and headlines. I’m inviting you inside the organization to meet the exceptional people who make Global Press what she has become today. It’s my pleasure to introduce you to this one-of-a-kind team of reporters and changemakers who work to create dignified, precise journalism every day.
I am grateful for each of them, and for each of you. Your support has enabled us to meet this moment with courage and conviction.