The Post Alley website launched in June 2019 as part of a new, Seattle-based writers’ collective aimed at helping fill gaps in local journalism and exploring new ways of delivering quality reporting and commentary. It taps an extensive talent pool of “displaced journalists,” experts and informed citizens — many of whom lack ready platforms for their work. The site is supported by the contributions of time, writing, and editing by members of the Post Alley writers’ collective (now about 55 members).
New content is added daily, and there are currently about 1,600 articles in archives. Readers may subscribe to receive an email every time we publish a story or sign up for our free Monday e-newsletter that includes all of the stories from the past week.
Post Alley is written from a Seattle perspective. That is, while many of the stories are local, many more are regional, national or international, but they reflect the view from here. All of the Post Alley writers live (or used to live) in the Northwest. Once they join — by invitation — writers choose their own topics and follow their own interests at the length and detail they (and their editor) prefer. All articles are edited in teams by fellow members of the group. There is no set editorial approach or “slant” or a top editor.
We aim for a pluralist, unpredictable approach to topics and contributors, reflecting the heterodox, creative vitality of Seattle today. Young writers who seek a chance to write and be coached by experienced editors are also part of the mix and the mission. Articles are also accepted from outside contributors; contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to propose a topic or contribute a story.
Post Alley is an experiment-in-progress. We think of it as “performative journalism” — story-making that aims to start conversations and debates, including public sessions with newsmakers and writers where topics are debated. Members of the collective meet weekly (face-to-face and virtually), in a kind of loosely organized newsroom where stories can be surfaced and debated. Our managing editors are Douglas McLennan, founder and editor of the arts site, ArtsJournal.com and David Brewster, founder of Seattle Weekly, Town Hall, Crosscut, and Folio.
Post Alley aims to fill some local gaps (architecture, culture, suburbs, religion, book reviews), as other media are forced to cut back such coverage. It encourages debate and cross-commentary among ideologically varied writers and informed readers. Comments are open to the readers of Post Alley and are curated. Commenting rules are simple: no personal attacks, and they must add something to the topic.
The site is collaborative and works with think tanks, organizations and other regional websites and media, sharing stories and promoting public events. Post Alley also works to incubate and cross-promote worthy ventures that inform the public. An example is the new site for independent data and analysis, the Puget Sound Indexer and Rainshadow Chronicle, started by Ross Anderson and Barry Mitzman, members of the Post Alley collective
Post Alley privileges the passion and expertise of its writers. Accordingly it is unusually free from normal dog-wagging constraints: clicks, pleasing donors and foundations, membership drives, appealing to advertisers by catering to a distinct demographic group, or hewing to a dominant editorial slant. The overriding goal is to raise the bar, have fun, give voice and companionship to experienced writers, challenge the monoculture of Seattle media, bottle the eclectic ferment of modern Seattle, and create a site that attracts some of the best writers and thinkers.