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I wanted to publish this piece on Thanksgiving, but I didn’t want it to be overlooked as just another Thanksgiving-themed article. So, I am publishing it today. And I hope as many of you as possible read it and share it.

Three years ago I decided to start The Iowa Standard (TIS). A little less than two years ago I had to decide if I would continue TIS and quit my full-time job (the one that actually paid money) or if I’d let my dream die due to a hurdle being placed in the way.

For more than 20 years I spent so much time watching, photographing and writing about sports. So much time in gyms and on fields. And, thankfully because of the teams I covered and the work ethic of those kids when it comes to sports, an unusually high number of successful, state and national championship teams.

But with every year that went by, it just seemed sports was put on far too big of a pedestal and politics was something conservatives didn’t get too engaged in because we didn’t want to be “controversial” or “disruptive” or “uncomfortable.”

But as a husband and a father — how can you see everything happening in the world today and not get as involved as possible. Ultimately I did not want my four kids to see their dad give up on something they know he is passionate about simply because it wasn’t easy or came with risk.

I decided I’d use the gifts God gave me to try and push for traditional, conservative, Christian values. I decided it was time to focus on what really matters.

I do not view The Iowa Standard as my “job.” I really view it more as my duty. My duty as a journalist, sure. My duty as a Christian, of course. But most importantly, my duty as a dad.

Few occupations can really have a long, lasting impact on the next generation in terms of societal norms. But as a Christian conservative voice in the media, well, I feel like a missionary in the mission field. There just aren’t Christian conservatives in the media.

And often those who are aren’t willing to really stand up to the radical Left. They are willing to compromise. They’re willing to be “GOP team players.” They’re not willing to hold Republicans to the same standard — let alone a higher one — than they hold Democrats.

I view The Iowa Standard as an opportunity to promote, support and create policies that will help make Iowa and America more sane place to raise a family than it is today. Now, to be fair, thankfully Iowa is relatively sane. But if we look around — swimming pools, schools, colleges, Iowa City, etc. — it isn’t going to be this way forever without us fighting for it.

It could be called advocacy journalism, which is certainly a legitimate genre of journalism. And it is definitely a necessary one when it comes to Christian conservatism. And, while advocating, it is still possible to be honest and present facts in a fair manner.

That’s what The Iowa Standard tries to do.

And I can honestly say, in the 23 months since I quit doing a job I had done for more than two decades — not one day has passed that I’ve second-guessed the decision.

There are multiple reasons for that, but I really want to focus on one.


Each and every one of you who I have been able to meet and talk with and get to know in the last three years has been an incredible blessing. I am honored that I am trusted to tell your stories — especially since there is NOOOOBODY else in the media willing to tell them, at least from your perspective.

I hesitate to even go through a list because I know I’ll inadvertently leave some off (but please give me some grace — it’s 4:25 a.m. as I write this).

The Christian Patriot group in Mason City.

The concerned citizens of Pella who want to keep it family-friendly.

The moms and dads, grandmas and grandpas who showed up in Monroe to learn about indoctrination in Iowa education.

The active group of Republicans in Montezuma.

My friends who turned out in Pleasantville to hear about the Iowa political landscape as a whole.

The different grassroots organizations in and around Des Moines — Liberty Champions, Jena’s group that held the ignor-aution party, The Cultivated Patriot folks, the Westside Conservatives.

The half-dozen or so folks in Pocahontas who I was able to converse with.

Can’t forget the Central Iowa Republican Women group.

Perhaps one of my favorite groups was Young Americans for Freedom at Iowa State.

There’s a new, exciting group called the Iowa Great Lakes Patriots organized by one of my good friends in the conservative movement.

There’s the Dallas County GOP that is doing all it can to organize and grow the Republican Party.

I cannot forget all of you who I met at the many protests over the summer over vaccine mandates.

The moms and dads who gathered outside Ankeny School Board meetings for months.

And here’s the thing — I still remember meeting Byker Mark at the watch party for President Donald J. Trump on the northeast side of Des Moines I believe. There were literally five or six of us.

I still remember meeting with one friend for his Tyranny Talk Tuesday session.

I’ll never forget the guys at Farm Boy Garage. The handful of Trump car parades I covered, boat parades, tractor parades, etc.

There are literally a hundred more people and stories I could mention here.

More than anything, though, it is the countless emails and messages I receive from Iowans who have serious concerns and nowhere else to go in order to get their story out there. And I do sincerely try my best to tell as many of those stories as possible. Those stories matter.

They matter because you matter. Every single one of you.

It is an incredible honor to tell your stories and help you in your causes. I know when it comes to media, you have nowhere else to turn. I know all you want is a chance to make your case on your terms.

You just want your kid’s school to teach reading, writing and arithmetic. You just want your job to let you make your own medical decisions and be an adult. You just want elected leaders who will not just say the right things but actually do the right things.

And you just want someone you know and trust will do an honest, fair job of representing you, your values and your story.

And the fact so many of you have trusted me to do that is incredibly humbling and something I will always be grateful for.

I am certain I left off the name of a group or two that I talked to and maybe even have a great relationship with. I sincerely apologize.

But I cannot express just how much I truly value the individual interactions I get to have with you all in an effort to tell your stories. To have your back. To give you a fair shake.

There are times I still wonder if The Iowa Standard will become financially stable enough to be a permanent fixture. It might, it might not. All I know is that I am doing exactly what I believe God has called me to do.

And when we do that, we cannot be wrong. While we may have our own individual ideas for what “success” and “failure” look like — God’s plan is 100 percent for His people to succeed.

And when we do what we believe in our heart is what He is calling us to do — we cannot fail.

I’m thankful for all of you. All of you who read The Iowa Standard. All of you who contribute financially to The Iowa Standard. All of you who trust The Iowa Standard to tell your story and provide you with information.

I want you to be educated, motivated and mobilized beyond Election Day.

I will do this as long as I have enough support from you guys to keep it going.

This is why…

That picture was from the Trump rally in Omaha on Oct. 27, 2020. I really enjoy meeting and talking with kids. I have always had a special place in my heart for children — for the next generation. I gave one of them my Trump media pass after the rally that night so they could have something unique to take home and provide memories of — perhaps, the political rally of their lifetime.

I want The Iowa Standard to exist for them. One, to help shape and guide the direction of our state and country toward a more Christian, more conservative, more traditional — can we just officially call it more sane — trajectory than we are on now.

But two, to let them know if they hold conservative, Christian or Republican beliefs — it is totally OK. And they don’t have to be shy about it, ashamed of it or quiet about it. In fact, they need to be bold, proud and vocal.

I hope The Iowa Standard sets an example for them in that way — to follow President Ronald Reagan’s desire for no pale pastels — but bold colors of conservatism.

So, on this Thanksgiving, I want to say THANK YOU to The Iowa Standard’s readers, supporters and financial contributors. Without you, none of this is possible. We don’t have more than 7 million page views in 2021 without your support. We aren’t an outlet for people to tell their stories without your support. We aren’t able to go around the state and educate Iowans without your support.

We aren’t able to make the difference we’re making without your support. 

So please know I am grateful for your support, I am humbled by your support and I am encouraged by your support. On those few days where I do have my doubts — doubts, not regrets — about the longevity of The Iowa Standard, God always uses one of you to say an encouraging word, make a financial contribution or provide just the perfect push I need to keep moving forward.

Thank you for a successful first three years. I am looking forward to many, many more!

Author: Jacob Hall


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