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Amplifying the ‘Austin Monitor’

Thursday, March 3, 2022 by Joel Gross

Amplify Austin Day began on Wednesday, March 2, this year. This collective effort by our community to support local nonprofit organizations is so aligned with our work, scope and mission it feels like we’re twin planets orbiting the same sun. 

We hope you will participate in Amplify Austin and that you will consider amplifying our work.

I Live Here I Give Here’s Amplify Austin Day is described as the biggest day of giving in Central Texas. During the event, people across seven counties come together to support more than 700 nonprofits by donating through The organization reports raising $82 million for the area since 2014. 

Beyond achieving millions of dollars of support for hundreds of area nonprofits, Amplify Austin Day has enduring success because it taps into the curious, dedicated and generous spirit that thrums through our special community. Austinites care about our city, and when you give us useful information and tools, we will not hesitate to take action and show our support.   

At the Austin Monitor, we have long recognized this same spirit in our readers and in the wider Austin community. In fact, our recent community-focused decision to remove our paywall was in response to more and more Austinites craving full access to nonpartisan, in-depth local news that exists at the intersection of local government and the community.

With this new, free model underway, we have identified three areas that will harness the special Austin spirit and (forgive me) amplify our impact to our readers and the community. The first impact area is helping readers to discover local stories, issues and topics. To advance this area, we are working to launch a front-page tool that will aggregate stories by City Council district and help readers to quickly find relevant hyperlocal news. Additionally, we are building our newsletter portfolio to provide additional news, content and features for the community. 

The second impact area is all about connection. The issues we cover are seldom condensed down to a single, standalone story. They require additional context and visualizations to fully understand what they mean for the community. Nearly every article we publish includes a section called Key Players & Topics, which is designed to provide a useful explainer about the main subjects in the article. We will also be integrating more data and graphics into our work to further strengthen our coverage. 

We’ve often described the Austin Monitor as working on the front lines of democracy, which is why our third impact area is appropriately centered on community engagement. We view local news as a two-way street, and with trust in media and government at perilous lows, we must be proactive in building relationships and trust with our community. For us, this means being able to have a real-life conversation and share feedback with our team as well as giving readers the resources to get more involved with the news they read. We’ll be focusing on both things in 2022. 

Thousands of Austinites will participate in Amplify Austin Day. They will discover the work of new nonprofits, connect with their cause and work, and engage by giving and supporting their missions. We are proud to participate in this quintessential Austin day of giving and equally proud to give Austinites the same special opportunity to discover, connect and engage with local news day in and day out. 

Joel Gross is the CEO of the Austin Monitor.

The Austin Monitor’s work is made possible by donations from the community. Though our reporting covers donors from time to time, we are careful to keep business and editorial efforts separate while maintaining transparency. A complete list of donors is available here, and our code of ethics is explained here.

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