Since launching in 2019, The Center Square has emerged as a major player in news media on a national level. We’reon a mission to ensure taxpayers like you have the facts and figures you need to speak up and make government accountable – truthfully, forcefully, with results.
Far too much of the mainstream media’s reporting is extremist opinion masquerading as journalism. Readers like you – and ultimately our country – suffer as it becomes difficult to weed through the constant flow of ideological news, subjectivity, and editorialization to determine what government is doing and how effectively it’s spending their tax dollars. Our approach is different: We present the facts, fairly and without commentary, and allow our readers to decide how the news impacts their lives.
The Center Square publishes original hard-news
stories with speed, factual accuracy, and a taxpayer’s sensibility, providing our
readers the context and information that’s so often missing from mainstream news.
Our high-velocity daily reporting informs readers about the cost of government in terms they can understand. Our audience isn’t composed of lobbyists and those with special interests. It’s designed for readers who want to understand government and its functions. This is not right-of-center or left-of-center news; this is down-the-middle news with the taxpayer’s voice in every relevant story.
We work for you, readers who want to think critically about our elected leaders and expect them to live up to the trust we have placed in government.
Thanks to generosity from readers like you, we’ve taken the proven model developed by our leadership team in Illinois, and rapidly scaled our coverage to all 50 states, rivaling the 176-year old Associated Press (AP) as the only other newswire service covering all 50 statehouses.
At The Center Square, we also augmented our daily, state-level reporting by opening a Washington, D.C. bureau last year that is covering the federal government and the Biden administration. Our D.C. bureau is reporting aggressively on national policies and laws made inside the Beltway, with a strong focus on how these decisions impact the states, their taxpayers, and job creators.
Whether reporting on state-level budget crises, K-12 education debates, COVID-19-related restrictions, or other essential issues, our work is targeted toward Americans in the broad center – the citizens who overwhelmingly drive electoral and cultural change in America.
We steer clear of shrill partisanship, relying instead on hard facts and a respect for editorial balance to illuminate the impact government has on taxpayers’ lives, pocketbooks, and individual liberty.
We aim to deliver valuable, factual news to a highly influential audience that wants to distinguish facts from feelings.
This is not only a goal: A survey of our hundreds of thousands of newsletter subscribers showed that our audience spreads widely across the political spectrum, including a quarter of our readers who identify as Independent.
What’s more, these subscribers tend to be very high-turnout voters. This means we’re serving an audience of Americans who have high expectations that government works for them and not against them.
Our commitment to fact-based, down-the-middle straight reporting has earned national recognition.
Earlier this year, the Ad Fontes chart – the most-shared media bias report on the internet – placed The Center Square at the same level of fairness and balance as NPR, The New York Times, and USA Today. We also ranked higher than The Washington Post for accuracy.
This positioning validates our approach to taking taxpayer-centric, free-market focused content into the center of the media fray, where normal Americans who consume news form the opinions that shape society.
The Center Square’s unique distribution model further separates us from other media. Rather than focusing solely on bringing readers to our website, TheCenterSquare.com, we amplify our impact as a news provider by working with likeminded media organizations who care about facts.
Unlike newswires like the AP that charge outlets to republish their version of the “news,” we offer local news outlets a meaningful choice by distributing our content to them free of charge.
In 2022, the team at The Center Square is producing an average of 75 stories per day, Monday through Friday. Publishing partners nationwide recognize the value of our coverage – specifically the choices we offer them – and place our stories in front of local audiences who engage with their local news outlets. Studies tell us local outlets remain the most trusted by news consumers, and their republication of our work allows The Center Square to speak with authority to influential audiences.
The result: Our articles are republished thousands of times in print and on digital platforms each day by local outlets, reaching millions of daily news consumers.
For example, our articles were republished 176,813 times by 578 outlets nationwide in 2021 (53% and 15% increases, respectively, over 2020). We’re experiencing further growth in 2022.
Meanwhile, 6.9 million unique users read our news reporting and analysis at TheCenterSquare.com. And these numbers also continue to grow.
We ended May 2022 with 25,905 article republications, the most in company history during any one-month period.
Most impressively, our growth has come at a time when media outlets across all platforms are on the decline: According to Axios, in 2021, cable news primetime viewership was down 36%, social media engagement (likes, comments, shares) with news articles was down 65%, and visits to the top five news websites were down 8%.
Our growth speaks volumes about the value taxpayers place on our reporting. It also underlies an important fact: Americans want news they can trust, and have come to rely on The Center Square for factual stories that move across the country in real time.
News with a Taxpayer Sensibility
Our extraordinary growth is attributable to The Center Square’s level-headed coverage of the many crises of our time.
We never take our eyes off vital, day-in and day-out coverage of issues that matter to taxpayers, asking tough but fair questions that other media institutions avoid. Our reporting ensures taxpayers have the resources they need to make judgments based on facts rather than mainstream media spin.
Issue: Border Security
Consider The Center Square’s sustained
reporting on the crisis at the southern border. We’ve provided continuous,
original coverage on the widespread ramifications of the Biden administration’s
border policies, including how state and local governments have struggled to
provide housing, food, medical care, security, and other resources needed to
accommodate undocumented migrants entering the United States.
While much of our coverage has focused on border towns, Center Square reporters have also taken a broader view by highlighting immigration’s effects in states such as Iowa, New Hampshire, and Wyoming.
In 2021 alone, we published 341 stories about the southern border crisis that generated 14,761 placements across 329 outlets nationwide, elevating the urgency of this issue through diligent reporting.
In June, Fox News’s Laura Ingraham even highlighted our diligent reporting citing our coverage of the southern border.
Our approach is a stark contrast to the AP, which issued an internal memo in March 2021 instructing its reporters to not use the term “crisis” when “describing what’s happening at the U.S. border.”
No news organization should willfully attempt to mute the seriousness of a news event to provide political cover for anyone.
Similarly, the AP last summer celebrated a permanent 27% increase in federal food stamp support for needy families over pre-pandemic levels, characterizing the move as “part of a multi-pronged Biden administration effort to strengthen the country’s social safety net.”
What the AP neglected to mention – and what The Center Square’s reporting made clear – is that the U.S. Department of Agriculture cited rising inflation as the driving force behind the benefit increase, the largest in the program’s history.
More than 145 outlets across the country picked up this story, illustrating how our reporting and national distribution network ensure taxpayers receive key facts the AP and other mainstream outlets omit.
Issue: Education Policy
Consider our work on education, which is uncovering how the education establishment is spending – and in many cases – wasting taxpayers’ money.
Late last year and early in 2022, we dug through federal grant awards to produce two exclusive stories detailing how the federal government is providing millions of dollars for programs that train future teachers in critical race theory (CRT).
Republished a combined 327 times in local outlets, these articles show how federal funding for CRT at the post-secondary level also negatively impacts K-12 education, and directly exposes the left’s claims that CRT is not used in K-12 schools as false. Our February investigation revealed how CRT training was funded through a program at Florida State University designed to educate future teachers. Our work prompted U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) to call for an investigation into whether the program violated Florida state law.
Meanwhile, in Michigan, The Center Square reported on how Rochester Community Schools (RCS) paid $188,750 to settle a lawsuit accusing the district of collecting a dossier on parents critical of school policies. The district monitored parents’ social media accounts and called one parent’s employer about her online activity, leading to the parent’s dismissal from her job. We submitted a freedom of information request to uncover the settlement amount. Our original reporting exposed the true extent of RCS’s malfeasance and how it passed the expense on to taxpayers when it got caught.
Issue: Constitutional Rights
The Center Square was the first media group to report that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) denied a Texas Christian group’s application for tax-exempt status on the grounds that “Bible teachings are typically affiliated with the [Republican] party and candidates.”
Thanks to the backlash generated by our reporting, the IRS reversed its decision. The story also raised the ire of congressional Republicans, who criticized the IRS’s original decision and questioned whether churches might be targeted next.
The mainstream press largely ignored this outrageous example of government malfeasance, but our reporting brought this story to the public’s attention.
Coverage of Midterm Elections
We are also achieving journalistic impact through an intense focus on competitive gubernatorial races, as well as coverage of the top U.S. House and Senate contests in the 2022 midterm elections.
We’ll be focused on races in battleground districts within Arizona, Colorado, Texas, Michigan, Ohio, Washington, Wisconsin, and elsewhere.
Rather than focusing on “horse race” campaign hype as so many media companies chose as their method of covering elections, our reporters will help readers understand the choices they face by investigating how candidates’ positions on key issues will affect them and their communities.
Additionally, we are leveraging the strength of our growing investigative news unit. These reporters dig deeper into stories that require more research, harder-to-reach sources, and Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. This reporting ensures important stories don’t fall through the cracks, as well as make it easier for our state-focused reporters to stay on track with – or even ahead of – the daily news in the states.
Building on this success, our editorial team is expanding coverage to issues such as crime and judicial transparency, the economic impact of federal taxes and spending, and veterans’ affairs, where sustained breaking news coverage can be supplemented with exclusive investigative reporting.
Many of our stories have caught the eye of political leaders, ultimately influencing lawmakers by providing information that has not been reported elsewhere.
Earlier this year, U.S. Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-AZ) citied one of our articles on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. Over the last few months, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Govs. Greg Abbott (R-TX) and Doug Ducey (R-AZ) tweeted our work across their social media accounts. Gov. Ducey even centered official communications around our pieces.
In Washington state, state legislators have said our news reporting has shifted the public conversation, thanks to coverage of issues that the media previously ignored. During the 2022 legislative session, the state Senate and state House GOP even highlighted one of our articles on a weekly communications call. Due in large part to our reporting, Washington is drawing the attention of national political leaders who see new opportunities in the state.
In 2022, The Center Square is working even harder on behalf of taxpayers. While so many news media companies are faltering, we are growing.
We’re increasing our article output and without compromising the quality of our content. This gives our media partners more reason to choose a story from The Center Square over the AP, Bloomberg, and other newswire services. It also augments our impact by capturing the attention of policymakers, taxpayers, and the editors of mainstream news operations.
As always, we will rely on hard facts and dogged reporting to challenge the mainstream media’s narrative in ways that resonate with Americans in the ideological center.
However, to ensure sustained impact, we need your support. Will you join the thousands of individuals who already have supported The Center Square and ensure that our hard-hitting, impactful work is possible? Please consider clicking here to donate today.