The Western Journal was originally founded in 2009 as WesternJournalism.com, a project of the Western Center for Journalism. At the time the site simply linked to other content producers and served as a hub for important current events in the political and media sphere. The site was established to provide an alternative for readers fed up with the overt politicization of establishment media outlets. Over time, the audience grew and writers and thinkers began submitting original pieces to be published in full.
In 2011, the marketing team created the Facebook page Western Journalism and began publishing political news and commentary from the site on the growing social network. It wasn’t until 2013, however, that Western Journalism hired its first full-time staff writer and branched into publishing only original content. During this time, the site grew rapidly, reaching several hundred thousand readers daily by the end of 2013.
The beginning of 2014 marked a strategic turning point for Western Journalism, as the staff began focusing heavily on their Facebook audience, experimenting with engaging titles, and analyzing results in real time. By May 2014, over four million unique visitors were reading Western Journalism each month.
In mid-2014, the director of marketing for the Western Center for Journalism, Patrick Brown, left to found Liftable Media Inc. and its first brand, the uplifting lifestyle site Liftable.com. Liftable Media’s founding mission is to be a positive influence on culture, rather than a negative influence. Patrick took what he’d learned in building social media optimized content on Western Journalism and by November five million unique visitors were reading Liftable.com each month.
Liftable Media still maintained close contact with the Western Journalism staff, and recognizing the overlap in audience and mission, offered to buy WesternJournalism.com. The offer was accepted and Liftable Media made its first acquisition, officially integrating WesternJournalism.com into Liftable Media on January 1st, 2015.
Not long after, Liftable Media was approached by the founder of ConservativeTribune.com, a conservative opinion blog that had seen success on Facebook. The founder, Shaun Connell, wanted to work on other projects and asked if Liftable Media was interested in buying it. So, in April 2015, Liftable Media made its second large acquisition, buying ConservativeTribune.com.
In November of 2017, WesternJournalism.com was rebranded as The Western Journal and moved to WesternJournal.com. In April of 2018, Conservative Tribune, Liftable, and The Wildcard, a sports site established in 2017 and also owned by Liftable Media, were integrated into The Western Journal as sections of one overarching site, The Western Journal.
Mission / Coverage Priorities
Founded in 2009 originally as Western Journalism, The Western Journal is an online news publication consisting of news, commentary and analysis. Other sections of The Western Journal include Conservative Tribune (political and cultural commentary), Liftable (lifestyle and uplifting stories) and The Wildcard (sports news and commentary).
The Western Journal focuses on topics that Heartland Americans care about. As many Americans continue to lose trust in the purportedly unbiased nature of older newspapers and networks, The Western Journal is rapidly filling the gap as a trusted source of news and information for the stories and views that remain untold by establishment news sources.
As a values-based news organization, we believe that it is vitally important that we are transparent about our beliefs and how they may affect our coverage priorities. We believe that we should be open about values we hold, rather than hiding behind a veneer of “unbiased” coverage.
Founded in the context of a establishment media that in general reflects a politically liberal worldview, we do make editorial choices to tell stories that fill a gap in coverage priorities at establishment media outlets.
In our news coverage, we do not support political parties or specific candidates. Our news section is news, and presents the facts. In our opinion and blog sections, we do however support ideas that those parties or political candidates may espouse. Even more important than supporting policies we might agree with editorially is our obligation to our readers to give a complete picture of the truth regardless of our beliefs. We should honestly report facts at variance with points of view we may hold. There are many issues where we should let the facts speak for themselves and allow our readers to make up their own minds.
Editorially, The Western Journal upholds traditional Christian values as articulated in the Bible. These values include beliefs in original sin, the fallen nature of man, the exclusivity of Christ, the need for government to restrain men from injuring each other, the fundamental value of every human life — including the unborn, a rejection of racism in all forms and the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman. Politically, The Western Journal advocates for broadly conservative positions on most issues, including abortion, national defense, small government, gay marriage, tax policy and individual freedom.
All Ethics and Editorial standards stem from the following values.
- All our content should be true. No value is more important than this.
- This does not preclude the use of opinion — opinion is vital to political and cultural commentary. But all opinions expressed must be supported by truth.
- Our content should never denigrate a person or people due to circumstances beyond their control. We should always treat everyone we report and opine on as human beings, deserving of the respect due to those created in the image of God.
- All Western Journal content should be excellent, both in production and in the promotion of virtue.
- We must have courage in order expose the truth about powerful interests that may be angered by our coverage.
- Within the context of our broader values, The Western Journal encourages its employees to speak up when they disagree about a company decision or editorial position that they think contradicts or compromises the organization’s mission in any way.
- Every person in our news organization has unique gifts, a unique background, and a story that can contribute to the excellence of the whole company. We encourage everyone in our company to speak their minds, and we do not shoot down the discussion of ideas and always encourage honest debate.
- In terms of innovation, we are not afraid to try new things. We bring up new ideas when we see a solution that others don’t see. We experiment, analyze results, and try again. We encourage those in our organization to make big bets and fail. It’s the best way we learn and become a better news company.
Ownership / Funding Sources
The Western Journal and its parent company Liftable Media are 100% owned by members of the Brown family, with no outside investors, grants, or funding. The Western Journal is funded by paid advertising in order to provide a free news source for our readers.
Actionable Feedback Policy
We believe that public feedback is not a one-way street — that is, simply publishing your comments or letters. Instead, we are committed to engaging with you and taking action based on your suggestions, complaints and other feedback. You may help us develop an individual story or line of coverage, answer questions that a story may raise, identify related or under-covered issues, and teach us about new and diverse sources, experts and perspectives.
In line with this, we are committed to providing greater transparency about how news is produced and offering regular points of contact and interaction. We believe that news organizations have a responsibility to engage with the public on the values, issues and ideas of the day, and that we have much to gain in return.
You can reach us through the following ways:
- Contact us page
- Submit correction link on each article
- Contact form on each author bio page