Nobody covers public media the way Current does. Nobody ever will.

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As we enter the annual season of gratitude — from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve ­– I’m asking you to take a moment to think about Current.

This scrappy trade publication is now 41 years old, officially a millennial! For context, Current was born during the same year that Ronald Reagan was elected president, when CNN and BET launched on cable TV, and the video game Pac-Man was released in arcades.

Like wine, Current has improved with age. Members of our small but mighty team are constantly brainstorming ways to provide better service to our field.

Throughout 2021, we continued to shine a spotlight on public media’s efforts to improve diversity, equity and inclusion in its workplaces and audience services. We also reported on cool content and engagement initiatives at stations, and published provocative and practical pieces by thought leaders with unique insights about public media.

In 2021, Digital Editor Mike Janssen directed our reader survey about compensation in public media. More than 1,900 of you responded. We published the results in our first database of public media salaries. Tyler Falk reported on how public media’s lack of openness and transparency is a barrier to pay equity and delivered an in-depth look at regional news collaboratives created by NPR and stations. Julian Wyllie followed up on recent station mergers to report on how they’ve increased revenues and local content; he also examined the challenges that independent filmmakers face in funding documentaries for public TV.   

Karen Everhart led the transformation of our print publication to focus on trends and challenges that affect the entire system, including tech transitions, the transformation of work during the pandemic and membership fundraising. The Pipeline 2022 edition, our last of the year, included reporting on forthcoming TV shows and podcasts intended for national audiences.

Current’s service to the world of public media goes beyond our reporting. We held a Virtual Career Fair in March that attracted nearly 60 employers and 725 jobseekers. We produced 10 webinars that engaged more than 2,000 readers. Our Local that Works project concluded Nov. 9 with the selection of All Classical Portland’s Recording Inclusivity Initiative as the 2021 grand prize winner. And we partnered with the Public Media Business Association to launch the Job Description Depot, a database of public media job descriptions.

All of this work and more is supported by the Wyncote Foundation and readers like you.

As 2021 draws to a close, it’s time to reflect on our work — and to ask you to support what Current does for public media. From now until Dec. 31, donations from $1 to $1,000 will be matched by NewsMatch and the Wyncote Foundation.

Think about the news, ideas, and know-how we’ve delivered to you — online, in print and in virtual meeting rooms. How has it influenced your work and your conversations with colleagues about what to do, and what to do better? Your donation to our year-end campaign will help Current cover public media like nobody’s business — although it is our business to cover your business. Your donation makes us possible; your gift fuels our coverage, our webinars, our newsletters.

When you donate $100 or more, you can name someone to the Public Media Honor Roll, an annual list of people you want to thank, honor or remember. Thank you for your support. We need it. We sincerely appreciate your generosity.

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