About Us

TheContributor.com is a national news network of independent writers, journalists, artists and advocacy leaders. We cover everything from local city council meetings to international events; from Mars to your backyard. The big stories, plus the ones you’ve missed. We feature seasoned professionals, cub reporters along with the occasional concerned taxpayer. More importantly, all are welcome to contribute to the conversation.

Oh, and we pay revenue share to our content creators. We pay our Contributors (a little at least)  Click here to join our network.


Why would you pay for content?! Don't you know this is the Internet and NO ONE pays for anything?!

Yeah, yeah, we know. However, content has value for advertisers, owners and investors so that should translate into money for content creators at some point. We’ve decided that point should be now. You know, put our money where our mouths are. We pay Contributors.

How much do you pay?

We share revenue generated from landing pages. The Contributor splits advertising revenue on story detail pages 50/50 with content providers. Contributors are able to check their balance and request payment at any time. We automatically send checks when accounts generate over $50. The first check we cut was to Sam Seder for using his web-based show, The Majority Report. It was for $177. He’s worth every penny. We also hire freelance journalists to work on assignment. Our rates are very competitive (for the Internet).

Can I join without being paid?

Of course.

How can I suggest a blog or a writer be included in your network?

Email us or direct your favorite blogger to our sign up page.

Who chooses which posts get published?

We have a tireless team of editors who go through each and every post hand-selecting the best of the best. Yes, it's daunting, so you should be nice to us.

Why no columns about celebrity divorce and nip slips?

We don’t need our news network to be subsidized by Dancing With The Stars gossip (we have fair trade sponsors and like minded businesses for that). Also link baiting makes us feel oily. So we try to create a space for this thing called “news.” Actual news that affects our lives--our public policy--our communities. We keep seeing studies about how people want less fluff and more information. So that’s our goal. We’ve created a site that’s not just a topographical map of Kim Kardashian’s butt. Our motto: News coverage not new cleavage.

What giant media conglomerate owns you?

We’re referred to as a “scrappy start-up.” The Minnesota-based Warecorp is our parent company. The Contributor was started by a couple of social venture entrepreneurs who saw a gap in the market for a non-tabloid news site with a focus on politics that everyone can contribute too. And, yes, even paying money to people who write things on the Internet (patent pending).

What makes a great Contributor post?

The first thing we look for in a post is a story. Something interesting. Something different than what's currently bouncing around the echo chamber: A new take. New information. Clean writing. Good grammar (AP Style is preferred). We love local stories: elections, zoning issues, neighborhood politicians. We love strong reporting and adore passion on any topic. We go through a mountain of posts each day, we value solid work and we use it.

What we don't like are posts that are basically just a block quote of other articles. Posts with cheap shots (i.e. calling someone who disagrees with you a stupid moron) don't make the cut. Same goes for posts with the words "Nazi" or "Hitler" in it (save those that are actually about the history of WWII). If it resembles the forwards you get from your cantankerous shut-in second cousins, we probably won't use it.


Our Team


Managing Editor: Steve Cooper


Cooper is a graduate of the University of Virginia where he received BAs in English and Music.  An avid musician whose songs have been used on television shows such as 30 Rock and CSI:NY, Cooper sharpened his editorial teeth working pro-competition papers and books in the media ownership and telecommunications spaces.  In 2011, he created We Party Patriots, a labor blog with a focus on construction, and the #1u Twitter hashtag which tallied over 100,000 Tweets in 2012.  He is a resident of Brooklyn, NY.

Executive Editor: Rob Tornoe

Rob is an award-winning cartoonist, columnist and designer. He draws cartoons for Media Matters, the Philadelphia Inquirer, The Press of Atlantic City, and Philadelphia NPR-affiliate WHYY. He also covers the media for Editor & Publisher magazine. His cartoons have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post and on MSNBC and NBC's Meet the Press. Twitter: @RobTornoe

Project Manager: Dori Graff

Dori Graff is a tech entrepreneur and avid cat wrangler.

Executive Director: Lee Rogas

Lee is a serial entrepreneur, philanthropist, elder advocate, election judge and water-colorist. He is a founding partner and COO of Warecorp, an international software engineering, and consulting company. He is also the co-founder and COO of DrupalSquad and helped fund The UpTake. An early adopter of the internet he had a browser in 1994, has worked on numerous Fortune 500 interactive projects for the last 16 years. He usually starts his day on Reddit, is an avid science geek, and loves SF, movies, cooking and art. A 5th generation Texan, he now resides in Edina, Minnesota.

Publisher: Chris Dykstra

Chris Dykstra is a serial technology and media entrepreneur, community leader, and artist. He is a founding partner and CEO of Warecorp, an international software engineering, and consulting company working with impact entrepreneurs and change agents; Founder and President of DrupalSquad, on demand Drupal maintenance and support; Co-Founder of The UpTake, an acclaimed non-profit online video news organization; and Founder and Publisher of TheContributor.com, an online, daily publication of the work of an international network of bloggers. Dykstra has spent the last twenty years leading software and web teams, starting companies, playing soccer, creating art and maturing as human being and an impact entrepreneur. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Twitter: @duckstrap.


For advertising and sponsorship inquiries contact: sales@thecontributor.com