Kickstarter crowd backs Seabrook’s Decode DC

By Andrew Lapin

Former NPR correspondent Andrea Seabrook, who covered Congress until departing in July to launch an independent podcast called Decode DC, crossed the finish line on her Kickstarter fundraising campaign Oct. 17, hitting her goal of $75,000 and ultimately topping out at over $100,000.

Seabrook launched the campaign Sept. 25 and met her fundraising target with two days to spare. Seabrook conceded during an Oct. 5 panel discussion at the Third Coast Conference in Evanston, Ill., midway through the campaign, that she “did everything wrong” in her approach to the crowdfunding platform — from distributing a weak promotional video to offering uninteresting gifts.

Yet favorable coverage from outlets such as Politico and WNYC’s On The Media, combined with nontraditional outreach such as a crossover episode with Roman Mars’s 99% Invisible podcast, created enough buzz to push the campaign through. Decode DC ended its Kickstarter run Oct. 19 with $100,724.

Decode DC is distributed online by the Mule Radio Syndicate podcast network and has produced three episodes to date. The show’s mission is to expose the truths in politics that traditional media don’t report on. The online audio platform SoundCloud gave Seabrook a fellowship to pursue the project.

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