Welcome to Arc Digital.
We’re a commentary publication founded in 2016. Though a half-decade is a long time, it’s a blip when compared to the longevity of media companies whose lifespans are in the triple digits. We’re young, but not new.
In the years since our founding, we’ve amassed a community of readers we’re deeply proud of—readers who would rather hear opposing arguments than shut their ears to them, readers who don’t believe that having strong convictions and engaging in good-faith dialogue with those who disagree are incompatible values.
If you’re a longtime reader, the rest of this post will cover information about us that you probably already know. To support us straight away, click here.
If you’re hearing about us for the first time, please read on. We’re glad you’re here.
What is Arc?
Arc is a publication of ideas — the ideas that are most pressing now.
We can’t ignore either of those elements.
Arc is not an academic journal on abstract theory, unconcerned with what’s going on today. Nor is it a newspaper that simply tells you, without any deeper analysis or insight, what’s happening in the world.
What we do is analyze and comment on items of interest in a way that is informed yet accessible. We believe it’s possible to cover current events in a manner that respects the complexity of the world and the time our readers put in to understanding it.
Arc is a daily publication. Our content gets published on this website, sent out as newsletters, and promoted on our various social channels.
What is Arc’s Approach?
Our core value is responsible intellectual pluralism.
The pluralism part means we are committed to publishing a variety of perspectives. Ours is a platform for omnidirectional opinion. That’s a non-negotiable for us. But the responsible part means we set certain editorial parameters so that our pages don’t turn into a bad-faith free-for-all.
Our media landscape is suffused with echo chambers. But the way out isn’t to become intellectually indiscriminate. The answer isn’t to journalistically operate under the assumption that every view is equally valid.
The solution is a publication that simultaneously retains an openness to perspectives from across the spectrum while remaining committed to important editorial constraints. That’s what we’ve built Arc to be.
A shorter way to say this is we’re after the smartest takes on the issues most worth discussing. That’s our simple-but-lofty mission: to be the best destination for analysis and commentary on the internet.
What Does Arc Focus On?
If you’re looking for a publication that restricts itself to a narrow lens, I’m afraid Arc won’t be the place for you. There’s nothing wrong with taking a niche focus—it just isn’t us.
Our areas of focus include politics, policy, social and cultural issues, world affairs, economics, science, technology, religion, and philosophy.
Since we’re a general interest publication, we’ll tend to cast a pretty wide net. We hope to cover, as Walt Whitman once put it, “all the pulses of the world.”
We’ll do so across newsletters, articles, podcasts, and more.
What is Arc’s Place in the Discourse?
The world of news and opinion is structurally hostile to what we’re trying to do. It isn’t built for sites like ours. This is not a plea for pity — it’s just reality.
The architecture of internet discourse is designed to have each participant stake out a particular position. It doesn’t know what to do with a venue that functions more like a roundtable. There are constant pressures on us to relax our commitment to pluralism and to narrow in on a single perspective.
But we’re not interested in doing that. Plenty of sites already do that. Some of them even do it quite well. Our thing will be to remain committed to a politically and philosophically panoramic output. We think this approach serves our readers best.
It isn’t always easy to stay the course. It’s not lost on us that the surest path to social media growth and massive website traffic is to continually send out signals to the public that you will be a reliable defender of, a tireless advocate for, a particular point of view. A powerful mechanism for growth in the commentary space is to dependably champion a single perspective, to rigidly take a side — we understand that. But, well … we’re going to continue to do things our way.
If you think Arc represents something good, something worth backing in the world of digital media, join us. For 8 bucks a month, you help us prove that a better way exists.
The media is one of the least trusted institutions we have — doesn’t it make sense, then, to give oxygen to the outlets you think are doing things the right way?
Want To Write For Us?
The best way to get a sense of what we’re looking to publish is to read our site. Your pitch can be a quick but nuanced take on recent news, a book review, a scholarly argument shaped for popular consumption, a personal piece rich in insight and verve, or an explainer that helps readers better understand the world. We want to know what your piece is about (the scope), what you’re arguing (the thesis), and who you are. Due to the volume of submissions we receive, we can’t guarantee a response.
Send your idea or draft to firstname.lastname@example.org.