Earlier this year I was faced with a choice. I haven’t really talked about it publicly, but I have time now.
A year and a half ago I started The Iowa Standard, a statewide political news website that covers politics from a Christian conservative worldview.
I operated the website while serving as a Sports Editor here in NW Iowa. I worked in sports journalism for 20 years. For those of you who know me, you know how much I have always loved sports. And for those who know me well, you know my love for sports was rooted in how I grew up, playing sports as much as possible and watching NFL every Sunday with my grandpa before he died while I was in seventh grade.
But as I’ve gotten older, priorities have changed. Sports are still fun, but I worry that there is too much emphasis placed on sports. And not enough on history, politics and religion.
Journalism in America is a mission field.
There is a lack of Christian conservatism in the media that plagues our country.
I would point to the AP Stylebook as one example. I would point to a study by researchers from Arizona State and Texas A&M that surveyed 462 financial journalists and showed just 0.46% are “very conservative.” Only 3.94% claim to be “somewhat conservative.” And 58.47% claim to being left of center while 37.12% say they’re “moderate.” These are financial journalists, which you’d expect to be more conservative than average journalists. And finally I would point to some of my experiences in 20 years working in the field.
After spending about $16,000 to get The Iowa Standard up and running through 2019, I had to choose if I was still going to pursue it and quit my full-time job or if I was going to give up on the dream.
At the end of the day and after much thought, prayer and consideration, I took the leap of running with The Iowa Standard full time.
I literally went from my last day at the newspaper office to Des Moines later that night. I had no time between.
However, I truly believe that there is a need in this profession for someone like me and something like The Iowa Standard. And I believe this is what God has called me to do.
The website so far is a success. In early April, we surpassed more than 1 million page views for 2020. We already reached as many unique visitors in 2020 as we had all of 2019. I receive more and more contacts from around the state thanking me, encouraging me and asking me to look into things.
The challenge, of course, is fundraising. I hate asking for money. Throw in a worldwide pandemic and it gets even worse.
But the reality is if The Iowa Standard is going to work, I need to get over that uncomfortable feeling of asking for money and just do it. If I truly believe in it, and I do, then I have to trust that others will see the value in it as well.
I am thankful that Amanda and the kids are understanding as I attempt to pull this adventure off. And I’m grateful for those who have helped make it a success so far and those who have been willing to support it financially.
When I started this, my grand idea was to find a way to raise $5,000 a month. In my head, it was as simple as finding 1,000 people to give $5/month…or 500 people to give $10/month…or 200 people willing to give $25/month.
In addition, business owners, candidates and advocacy groups could advertise on the website (if you’re a business owner, I would LOVE the opportunity to talk with you about this)!
Ultimately I prefer to stay away from anything subscription-based because there are workarounds for that and you’ll never reach those who either disagree or aren’t quite there yet if they have to pay first.
I truly believe The Iowa Standard is mission work.
So today I am asking you to consider signing up to help The Iowa Standard financially. Every little bit matters when trying to start a business.
I’m also asking you to consider inviting ALL of your friends to like The Iowa Standard’s Facebook page. And to make visiting The Iowa Standard a daily habit.
If YOU are someone who agrees with me and President Donald Trump that there is a Fake News problem in America, then this is YOUR chance to do something about it.
It is important that we “act” when we have the opportunity. That we “engage” when we see a problem.
As I said earlier, I believe in this project. I believe it is necessary and I believe I am the person to do it.
Whether it works or not, that is up to God.
When I was facing my decision earlier this year, I had to consider this…
Ultimately, did I want my kids to see their dad follow his dream or did I want them to see him play it safe, settle and ignore what he felt God was calling him to do?
I made the decision to follow where God was calling me and I haven’t regretted it since.
I really hope you will consider becoming a supporter of The Iowa Standard. I have all the confidence in the world that, together, we can make a difference in Des Moines, Iowa and beyond!
If you are able and willing, please consider making a contribution here.
You can also send checks to:
The Iowa Standard
PO Box 112
Sioux Center, IA 51250
Thank you for your consideration and your support.