“The Center of Michigan and its free Bridge Magazine have done the most I've seen in my more than 40 years of journalism to inform and engage Michigan citizens on vital state issues in a non-partisan manner." ‒ Ken Winter, former publisher of the Petoskey News-Review
An informed public is the iron core of a democracy.
How many times have we heard that?
But have we reflected on those words enough times these days, when "fake news" is all the rage and spewing personal insults passes for a civil civic discussion?
We're about to enter into 2018, an election year when we will pick a new governor, attorney general, secretary of state and 148 state legislators, many or most of whom will also be new.
Bridge Magazine never endorses political parties or individual candidates. Instead, our veteran journalists report nonpartisan, fact-driven news edited for thoughtful, adult readers who want to go beyond the usual drivel and understand what's really going on behind the scenes.
That's what our readers tell us they expect. They want us to amplify and explain facts, to explore the issues, in depth, to explain what lies behind all the sound and fury of campaigning.
Readers want much more: Added watchdog coverage of the capitol, expansion of our popular Michigan Truth Squad fact-checking service for political ads, and unbiased coverage of environmental issues in the Great Lakes State.
We've gotten to be pretty good at doing that. Bridge has earned more than 40 state and national journalism awards in 2017 alone, including our second straight "Newspaper of the Year" award from the Michigan Press Association. In the five years we've been publishing, we've earned more than one million readers each year who have come to depend on us for straightforward factual reporting.
Who's going to watchdog state and local government? Who's going to tell you whether candidates are telling the truth on the campaign trail or in their TV ads? Who's going to explain how your local schools are performing? Who's going to be vigilant in explaining how your tax dollars are being spent?
Who's going to respectfully and accurately report the diverse perspectives of 10 million Michigan residents?
Bridge Magazine will tell you. And with your help, Bridge will tell you more than ever in 2018. Good, responsible news coverage is hard to find, especially when it's drowned out by the screams and snarls of the various egos on cable news and the countless partisan political blogs. Fake news is increasingly common, partly because all you need is a laptop to be a fake news publisher. And if everybody's a publisher, so very few are editors, fact-checking and making sure reporting is thorough. Fake news is a terrible threat to our society, because if we cannot agree on what constitutes empirical fact, we simply cannot discuss our political differences in a civil way.
This week marks the start of our fall 2017 reader support campaign. So it's reasonable to ask: How much is Bridge journalism worth to you? $25? ... $50? ... $100 a year? ... Two dollars a week?
Whatever tax-deductible donation you choose to make to support Bridge Magazine, your contribution will be magnified by matching grants from five great Michigan foundations: The Knight Foundation, the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation, the Glassen Memorial Fund, the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan and the Wege Foundation are all matching our readers' tax deductible contributions.
More than 2,000 Bridge readers contributed to our fall campaign last year. If we're going to do the job our readers want us to do this coming year, we need the resources to do it. Please join in!