2015: A Look Back at the Center’s Work

Our primary mission at the Garrison Center is to produce libertarian op-eds and place those op-eds in “mainstream” newspapers and non-libertarian political publications. We are, in that sense, an outreach project for the libertarian movement.

So, how well did we do our job in 2015?

The first Garrison op-ed was published on January 29, 2015, so our “first year” was effectively 11 months long. During that time, we placed, as best I can tell*, 545 op-eds in those other kinds of publication. That’s 1.6 op-eds per day, every day, seven days a week, for 11 months.

Based on our “blue sky” budget of $250 a month***, that’s a per-placement cost of $5.05. And since placements trended upward over the course of that 11 months, the per-placement cost is actually coming down.

Personally, I’d say that’s VERY cost-effective outreach. If you think so too, I hope you’ll support the Center’s work.

How can you support the Center’s work? Well, we’re not a 501(c)(3) organization that can accept tax-deductible donations. In fact, we’re not an “organization” at all as such. You support the Center by supporting its authors. And since I pay other authors an up-front fee when they submit op-eds that are published under the Center’s banner (an occasional thing that I’d like to do more of!), the easiest way to do that is to support me. You can do that from the sidebar at my personal blog, KN@PPSTER. Thanks in advance!

Now, the notes on those asterisks above:

*  I haven’t found any good WordPress plugins to let me keep track and count of “media pickups.” I track them down, note them at the bottom of each column, and keep count of them “by hand.” At the end of 2015, I went through the 140 or so Garrison Center posts one by one, totaling up the “pickups” as I went. I did that three times. Each time I ended up with a different number. The lowest number was higher than 540; the highest number was lower than 550; and one number was, in fact, 545. So that last is the number I am reporting to you. There are likely more “pickups” out there which I never identified; some small newspapers do not put their print content on the web even today. I would say 545 is slightly low, but I didn’t want to be dishonestly high. And of course you are free to go through all those columns and verify the “pickups” for yourself it you don’t trust me 🙂

** $250 per month is my personal funding goal for running the Garrison Center and other things (including my blog and my weekly podcast). For nearly a year, an “angel donor” has funded me at that amount while I try to ramp up crowd-funding to the $250/month level. At some point, the “angel” will let go and I’ll sink or swim (as will the Center). Currently, crowd-funding comes to right at $50 a month. So once again, I’d appreciate your support, which can be delivered via Patreon, PayPal, Bitcoin or Litecoin from the sidebar at my blog, KN@PPSTER.

Yours in liberty,
Tom Knapp
Director and Senior News Analyst
The William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism