The political shift on Election Day is still reverberating and likely will be felt long past Inauguration Day. People are fearful of the country’s increasing polarization and angry that painstaking progress by civil society is more vulnerable than at any time in the 20 years this magazine has existed.
Our positive, progressive voice is more important than ever.
At YES! we try to stay positive. We avoid cynicism and look for real evidence of a better world being born. While lately that’s been difficult, the editors here are expert at finding and reporting on progressive solutions, the ones that heal the planet and improve the lives of the many. We explore why, how, and what now. We provide commentary from the courageous people who participate in the movements leading social change. Our articles help people imagine a world that is just and sustainable and compassionate. Readers tell us this extraordinary kind of journalism lifts them up when they’re discouraged and inspires them to action.
Now, our positive, progressive voice is more important than ever.
To be clear, it is a progressive voice. YES! journalism comes with a strong point of view. We believe in some important things, and these values inform our editorial decisions: That every person matters and deserves to live a dignified life. That real solutions work for the many, not the few. That people and planet are part of an interconnected web of life. That a government controlled by corporations cannot serve the people. That equality and equity are foundations for justice.
It seems important for the new year and the changes headed our way to remind readers that we remain grounded in these beliefs.
But we promise a few other things, as well.
You can trust our journalism.
We promise to focus on the kind of solutions that emerge below federal policy level, the creative responses of people working together to improve their lives and their communities. We will help you find solutions you can act on. We will continue to organize our coverage around climate justice and economic justice, with particular focus on race, Native leadership, food and health, and local economies. And this year we will add another: civil liberties. When you look at President-elect Trump’s 100-day plan, you can see that protecting the rights of We the People will be a big job.
We promise truth. You can trust our journalism. Reports of fake news are rampant along with allegations of smear campaigns by both left and right. Breitbart News is attacking Kellogg for making a stand and pulling its ads. Inaccurate Trump quotes are traveling as viral memes. A watch list is labeling left news outlets as pro-Russian. YES! is subscriber-supported, not beholden to advertising or any special interest. We are not distracted by click counts or rushing to publish. Our editors work hard to deliver fair and accurate articles. We take the extra day to fact check, and all our articles go through multiple editors. We require source citations for facts. That’s rare these days. Our editors understand the movements they cover. This is journalism with integrity.
Lastly, we promise that we will be unafraid. That means we will be aggressive in our brand of explanatory reporting and not shy away from looking at the many negative developments that surely lie ahead. We will name the problem “isms” when we see them: neoliberalism, capitalism, racism, white nationalism. To provoke important conversations, we will make space for the wide variety of perspectives and approaches to solving social problems that exist within progressive movements. They might sometimes be in direct conflict with one another. We will strive to create a respectful polyphony of voices.
As we head into uncertain times, you can depend on YES! to be an antidote to fear and apathy.
Tracy Matsue Loeffelholz is the former creative director at YES!, where she directed artistic and visual components of YES! Magazine, and drove branding across the organization for nearly 15 years. She specializes in infographic research and design, and currently works with The Nation, in addition to YES! She previously worked at The Seattle Times, The Virginian-Pilot, Scripps Howard Newspapers, Rocky Mountain News, The Denver Post, The Connecticut Post, The San Diego Tribune, The Honolulu Advertiser. She lives on Bainbridge Island, Washington, and currently serves on the board of the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial Association. Tracy speaks English.