A Year Of Accountability Journalism

Thanks to our subscribers, we were able to launch a grassroots-funded news outlet from scratch - and break big stories that made real impact.

Friends:

It has been a long eight months since we launched The Daily Poster — with your help, our small team has sprinted a marathon, and we have quickly built a grassroots-funded news organization that does accountability journalism, makes real impact and is cited throughout the wider media. Indeed, our reporting has been referenced and/or promoted by (among others) NPR, The Hill, The Guardian, The Daily Beast, CNBC, Democracy Now and The Washington Post — and we are now in the top 10 list of politics publications on the Substack platform.

Because you have pitched in, we wanted to share this short look back on the highlights of what we’ve accomplished together. 

As you read this review, keep in mind that this was all produced by a very small team of reporters as we started a news organization from scratch — and all of this reporting was in addition to producing our subscriber-only live events and subscriber-only products like the Midday Poster and the Weekend Reader. 

As you’ll see, we do the kind of journalism that makes powerful figures in both parties uncomfortable — but we don’t care. We are not corporate funded — we are grassroots-funded which empowers us to do this kind of reporting, and we are proud of its impact.  

I’m thrilled that we’ve been able to accomplish all of this in such a short period of time — but I know it is not enough. I know we have to try to expand our work in 2021, and I’ll soon be sharing some of our plans to do that. 

For now, please know that we couldn’t have done any of this work without you as a supporting subscriber. As I’m sure you can tell, this kind of work is time-, labor- and resource-intensive. There would be no way for us to do it without you pitching in — so thank you for being part of our team.

Together, we are building a new model for grassroots-funded accountability journalism — and together, we are going to do even bigger things in the coming year. Onward.

Rock the boat,

Sirota

IMPACT JOURNALISM

When it comes to direct impact, our biggest stories included:

Corporate Immunity: We aggressively reported out the story of public officials trying to help corporations shield themselves from legal consequences when they kill people during the coronavirus pandemic. Our reporting series followed the money to expose the original corporate immunity language in New York’s legislature, and then exposed how that same language was copied and pasted into other state laws — and into GOP legislation in Washington. Ultimately, New York lawmakers limited their corporate immunity law, and our reporting was credited for spotlighting the situation. 

The Postal Service Scandal: During the controversy over Republicans’ meddling with the U.S. Postal Service, The Daily Poster also broke the news of the Postal Service chairman’s connection to Mitch McConnell’s super PAC — and our reporting was cited by House Democrats in their investigation of the situation. 

The Barrett Confirmation: During Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation hearings, we broke open stories about her extremist record, her climate change denialism, her connection to the Florida 2000 election debacle and her potentialfamilial conflicts of interest. Senators questioned Barrett about the latter after our reporting. 

Biden’s Austerity Ideology: During the election campaign, our reporting spotlighted Joe Biden’s top aide parroting Republican talking points about the deficit, ultimately prompting Biden’s campaign to back off that rhetoric

Biden’s Potential HHS Secretary: During Biden’s cabinet selection process, The Daily Poster broke some major news about a top contender for HHS Secretary — who was soon after rejected in favor of a more progressive nominee. The American Prospect credited our reporting for helping change the dynamic.

SCOOPS

We focus on doing original journalism that follows the money and breaks stories that never would have seen the light of day had we not reported them out. Some of our best scoops include exposing:

  • A corporate CEO bragging that his firm is making big money off “huge increases in rents.”

  • A health care industry front group amassing millions to try to demonize Medicare for All and a public health insurance option. 

  • Biden national security nominees’ connection to a private equity firm promising that its political connections will get investors big returns off military contracts.

  • A Biden nominee’s deep ties to the fossil fuel industry. 

  • Media icons like Tucker Carlson cozying up to Wall Street moguls while covering the finance industry.

  • A little-noticed court ruling helping the fossil fuel industry hide its dark money spending on politics.

  • The Lincoln Project’s schemes that enriched its consultants while producing ineffective television ads.

  • A dark money group that spent millions to help buy a Supreme Court seat for Brett Kavanaugh.

  • A series of obscure rules from Trump’s labor secretary that could help enrich Wall Street moguls and oil companies, at the expense of workers and retirees.

  • A Democratic congressman being bankrolled by the hospital industry as he thwarted surprise billing legislation. 

  • Amazon killing a worker safety initiative amid the pandemic.

ONGOING SERIES

Along with scoops, we have published multiple series of ongoing coverage. These include:

Congressional races: We broke open the story of how the Democratic establishment used a scheme to hide who was working on the effort to unseat Rep. Ilhan Omar. We also broke the story of Republican Rep. Van Taylor trying to secure a bailout for his own industry; Republican Sen. Pat Toomey trying to help his Wall Street donors kill a Federal Reserve lending program; Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler getting herself appointed to a position that could help her husband’s financial empire; Republican senators pretending they support protections for preexisting conditions even as they tried to weaken those protections.

Supreme Court: We published a multi-partseries on Supreme Court rulings that helped corporations, and how that is part of a longer history of the court becoming a rubber stamp for corporate interests. 

The Electoral College: Well before many other outlets, we published a serieson the danger of Republican meddling with the Electoral College -- a situation that will culminate this week in the joint session of Congress.

The Fight For $2,000 Checks: We were at the forefront of covering the recent congressional fight to secure more direct aid for Americans struggling to survive the pandemic. We reported on progressive lawmakers moving the direct aid forward, Republican lawmakers harming their own constituents, and establishment Democrats going silent and surrendering

Climate Change: We have continued to aggressively cover all the ways the government continues to ignore, downplay and exacerbate the climate crisis. Read here, here, here, here, here, here and here for a taste of that coverage.

Drug Prices: We reported original stories on how the U.S. government funds the research and development of lifesaving medicines, only to watch pharmaceutical companies charge Americans the world’s highest prices for those medicines. We focused this reporting on potential COVID vaccines. 

COVID: The pandemic has been a major theme throughout all of our reporting — and we have focused that coverage on the ways the outbreak has harmed workers. We broke the story of worker deaths following unanswered complaints to federal regulators. We exposed how Georgia officials were misleading the public about the spread of the virus. We spotlighted how universities were lobbying for liability protections in the event that students get sick. And we uncovered internal emails showing how the Trump administration abandoned states trying to fight the virus. 

Local/State Reporting: We are committed to doing as much state and local reporting as possible — and to that end, we broke big stories about criminal justice reform, voting rights, pension theft, budget crises and fossil fuel development.