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Year In Review

What Our Families Thought Of Defector In 2023

1:44 PM EST on December 29, 2023

The Holy Family. Found in the collection of Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, Barcelona.
Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images

The Defector staff asked their family members what they thought of the site this year. Here are their responses.

Kelsey's Dad:

If memory serves—it’s been over a decade since it happened—it went down something like this: Kelsey’s undergraduate orientation featured a breakout session with the head of the department. Like the other parents who attended, I was curious as to how this unique, interdisciplinary major was going to end up in gainful employment for my kid. The professor knew it, too. He said something like, “We’re going to prepare these students for jobs that don’t even exist yet.”

If memory serves, I remember thinking he answered the question without really answering the question. Turns out, he was more prophetic than I knew. That major gave students the ability to think about who they were and what they were about … and that those skills would help them navigate any job market or employment season.

Knowing who you are and what you’re about seems to have served Defector well in 2023. The values showed that the medium is the message. You can see how important it is that they treat those that work there (and freelancers and other writers) well. They value excellence—except maybe the weirdly angled masthead logo—as you can see from the writing whether it’s on pro wrestling, tadpoles, Zillow listings, hell, even the crossword puzzle is great. They value creativity and let their staff take risks (Normal Gossip live podcast tour, anyone?). They even value business transparency. They know who they are and what they’re about and continued to run against the establishment in 2023. As an aside, my suspicion is they’re gonna have to stay true to these values in order to avoid BECOMING the establishment.

Business literature is littered with clichés. Like “keeping the main thing the main thing” and all that. And to me—maybe it’s a cliché, but it’s true—Defector stayed true to who they are and what they’re about. And it was cool to see. Godspeed for 2024!

P.S. When I asked Kelsey’s mom if she’d like to add anything for this, she said, “Nah. You got it.”

Barry's Mom:

I appreciate all the new additions that you guys come up with each year, like the crossword puzzle, the contests, and the new subjects you cover.

I also look forward to your year-end piece on items that people stick up their bodies and Defector’s Annual Report.

Dan's Dad:

One of the best things about Defector is its variety. It’s not just sports, or entertainment, or news, or culture. And the angles are not ones you see in a lot of publications. It could be any subject. Over time, you get to know the Defector personalities and wait for them to display their insight and personality. It’s not cliché. It’s funny, poignant, informative and worth spending your time with. Sorry I ended that last sentence with a preposition.

Mr. Diana:

Defector, as always, was an entertaining and informative beacon for what writing and journalism can be in 2023. Congratulations to everyone! (Especially Diana, who is awesome.)

My only note is you should feature more interviews with this anonymous Phoenix Suns fan. Whoever they are, they seem sharp, aside from the fact that they somehow weren't pessimistic enough about 2023-24. I promise—er—I imagine they won't make that mistake again!

Tom's Mom:

So here’s to another successful year! I wish I were as eloquent as you all … but I’m not!

This unique and very talented team hits it out of the park … every single day.  You guys continue to expand, delivering funny, intelligent, creative, heartfelt,  (and even more funny), work—so professional, so impressive!  Long live Defector!

Samer's Dad:

As we discovered lately, and even before, our main media has a credibility crisis, and always will find the agents to get paid handsomely and be willing to say whatever it takes to be a "star." This is the truth without sugarcoating. We can ignore it or lie to ourselves about it, but the rest of the world knows it. I am fortunate to be multilingual and able to watch the news from different sources.

As of last September, Defector had its three-year anniversary. Three years have passed and it is still keeping the course. Congratulations. I am proud of this group of young uncorrupted journalists that make up the body of this young publication. Defector cannot afford sending a "Hollywood-like celebrity reporter" dressed in full battle gear, but still can report the truth and the facts. I am especially proud of my son Samer, who portrayed a good sense of high morals and courage to deliver truthful facts when the main media lacked them. Since he was a child, Samer had a script framed on the wall of his room: "Safety is in telling the truth"! He cherished that piece and never deviated from that as a child or now. Truth will get him everywhere in the field of editing, reporting, or writing. He is an asset to Defector.

The Defector example of subscription media is the correct way of journalism. Otherwise we have to be dependent on the main media sponsors—manufacturers of toilet paper and sanitary napkins, ambulance chasers, and beer makers, to decide for us what is proper to hear, and what to see—in the land of the free. Sometimes I wonder if we mean what we say?

Ray's Daughter And Future Daughter-In-Law:

The family legally attached to your typist does not have an overarching view of Les Transfuge apart from the bride's "Are you still getting paid?" and "Do the readers really need 900 more words on Aaron Rodgers's night classes in immunology?" (the answers being "yes" and "of course not, but we choose laziness over significance"), we defer to the family undercard (daughter, left, and future daughter-in-law) and their view of our little sludgepot of words, which can be summed up by this photo.

Drew's Mom:

To the good folks at Defector: my husband and I continue to cheer on the success of your venture. We even read the Annual Report. Another year well done! 

A confession: I, Momma Drew, read the blog more often than Poppa Drew. Five throwg__s to anything from Drew’s pen. He’s such a talented, funny writer. Wherever did he get that talent?!

I also enjoy Kelsey’s articles. Her take on just about anything is refreshing, and her Tik Tok sendups and cooking experiments are fun to read. Chris Thompson’s drawings are a favorite. Another talented boy!

I still feel some of the articles are overly long, but I guess that’s OK for those interested. My real beef is with your login procedure. I am still being treated as a non subscriber and have to sign in with password etc. before I can read an article. Even today! I think you really need to fix this. I do hate to complain, and even worse, to lean on Drew for help. 

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