Iowa Starting Line is taking a break. Finally.
Back when we launched this whole operation in January 2015, I wasn’t sure just how long we’d be around or what kind of success we’d end up seeing. After four long years, I think we can confidently say that we’ve accomplished a great deal during our time on the Iowa politics news coverage scene, and I’ve been very grateful for everyone who’s been a part of it.
Now we’re headed into the most important year of Iowa politics we’ve seen in a long time: the 2020 Democratic caucus. Democrats are about to have an incredibly fascinating discussion of just what the party stands for as two dozen or more candidates vie for the chance to take on Donald Trump. Starting Line was created specifically as an Iowa Caucus news website, and I can’t wait for it all to begin in earnest (well, for it to officially begin; the early game has been going on for quite some time).
Before we get there, I need to take some time off for two things: relaxation and fundraising.
I’ll be taking off the rest of December to rest and recuperate from the long year, and to get a lot of house and yard projects done so I’m not constantly worrying about that during the caucus. As I post this I’m on my way out to California for my first actual vacation in three and a half years.
During the month of January, I am going to focus solely on fundraising. This past year I tried to do both my usual news coverage and keep Starting Line financially sound at the same time. It didn’t work very well. While this was our best year by far in terms of breaking important stories, the size of our readership, and overall impact, it was our worst financially.
My hope is to knock out the vast majority of my fundraising and advertising planning in January. That way I can just concentrate fully on writing and reporting for the rest of the year. There will be some candidates announcing in January, and I’ll take a few days to go out and cover those trips, but I think I should be able to get most of this done before the real deluge of announcements.
I’ll also probably have one or two more stories before the end of this year, including on Progress Iowa’s December 20 event. I have about a dozen other stories focused on post-election analysis or pre-caucus predictions that I had hoped to get to, but I just ran out of time and energy for them. And really, it’s not the end of the world if I don’t write up every single interesting story that I really wanted to do.
In the meantime, I’m still taking guest posts and the Iowa Daily Democrat writers will continue to contribute pieces that I’ll post. The podcasts are going on hiatus until February. I’ll occasionally tweet stuff, but not nearly as regularly.
I will see you all again with regular coverage and posting in February. Of course, if you’d like to help with my fundraising effort in January, I could get back to work even sooner!
See you all later. Have a nice holiday season.
by Pat Rynard