I’m Zack Medford, a graduate of N.C. State, an owner of Isaac Hunter’s Hospitality, and a proud member of downtown Raleigh’s business community. I want to tell you why I think having a free and independent news outlet like the INDY is so important—both to my businesses and to the city they call home—and why you should visit KeepItINDY.com today to join the INDY Press Club.

The most important thing: Independent journalists are our first and last line of defense against government and corporate corruption. In recent years, the INDY uncovered hundreds of thousands of dollars in shady campaign donations to North Carolina legislators by the pork industry. The INDY shined a spotlight on lawsuits alleging that Duke University tried to cover up sexual abuse at a camp for chronically ill children. The INDY exposed that Thomas Farr misled the Senate Judiciary Committee about his role in Jesse Helms’s efforts to prevent black people from voting, which helped cost Farr a lifetime appointment to the federal judiciary. 

Powerful, impactful journalism like this isn’t free. It isn’t even cheap. If we don’t support it, it will vanish. And we can’t afford to lose it. 

The INDY helps people figure out how to vote. It shows us where our taxes go and why they’re going up or down. It calls out malfeasance and teaches us about social ills in our community that need fixing. 

As a small business owner, the INDY has also had a direct effect on my life. When the Raleigh City Council tried to ban outdoor drinking in 2015, the INDY spent countless resources covering the entire process and detailing the council’s hypocrisy. Without the INDY, we’d have closed the doors to Paddy O’Beers years ago, and you would never have been able to enjoy a cold beer outside Isaac Hunter’s Tavern on a sunny summer day. 

The INDY is still fighting the good fight. Recently, they’ve been unveiling the real reasons behind our current city council’s plan to destroy short-term rentals like Airbnb—telling us exactly what our local officials are up to. 

They’re not afraid to call it like it is. 

The INDY tells us what is going on in our community. It tells us what we can do this weekend, how we can spend our money locally, and what new businesses are opening. It introduces us to the brilliant or wacky or odd or compelling characters making an impact in our community.

Reading the INDY makes you smarter, funnier, and gives you creative things to talk about while you’re sipping a beer at Isaac Hunter’s Tavern or wearing your Sunday best at church. Local news makes your community safer and better informed.

The best part of the deal is that the INDY comes to you free. But free doesn’t pay the bills, and free can’t be sustained forever. 

For the price of a couple of Starbucks lattes a month, you can join me as a member of the INDY Press Club and help keep independent local journalism viable in the Triangle. There’s no better deal on the planet, and few more important. Do it. 

Keep it free. Keep it INDY. 

Zack Medford is a co-owner of Isaac Hunter’s Hospitality, which operates Parliament, Coglin’s Raleigh, Paddy O’Beers, and Isaac Hunter’s Tavern. He also owns The Great Raleigh Trolley

Support independent local journalism. Join the INDY Press Club to help us keep fearless watchdog reporting and essential arts and culture coverage viable in the Triangle.