Coming this week: The Christopher Cantwell trial

The Informant will be sending journalist Hilary Sargent to cover the federal criminal trial of the neo-Nazi podcaster.

Hi folks — Nick Martin here.

I wanted to give you a heads up on something special The Informant is going to be publishing over the next two weeks.

We’re going to be bringing you day-to-day coverage of the federal criminal trial of neo-Nazi podcaster Christopher Cantwell — one of the truly weird and outrageous figures in the white power movement today.

I say “we” because I’ve hired one of the best freelance journalists I know, Hilary Sargent, to attend the trial every day and file regular dispatches for The Informant. Hilary has written for places like The New York Times, QUARTZ, and the Boston Globe, so I’m thrilled to be working with her on this.

Hilary knows this world inside and out. That hasn’t been entirely by choice. Back in 2018, a few tweets she posted turned her into a favorite target for harassment by Cantwell and a number of other neo-Nazis. She’s been monitoring and keeping an eye on them ever since, learning everything there is to learn about them. It’s made her one of the most astute observers of a particularly nasty set of neo-Nazis today.

The harassment has been ongoing, and Hilary has even been threatened (anonymously, of course) if she covers this trial. She thinks that’s bullshit, and so do I. Journalists should be able to work freely without fear or intimidation. So she’s going to Concord, New Hampshire, for two weeks to cover it.

How you can help

I launched The Informant in January to cover hate and extremism in the U.S. It’s risky work, as this case demonstrates clearly. But it’s vital now in an era when white supremacists represent the greatest terrorism threat to the nation.

The Informant is supported by paid subscriptions, which means articles sometimes wind up behind a pay wall for members only. That won’t be the case here. All of our coverage of the Cantwell trial will be free to the public. It’s that important.

But here’s the deal: If you value this work, if you believe journalists shouldn’t be silenced by threats, if you understand the danger white supremacists pose to our country, I want you to subscribe to The Informant anyway.

Covering a trial day in and day out is expensive. It’s in the middle of a pandemic, and we have some serious safety precautions we’ll be taking. Very few, if any, other news organizations have the money or the stomach to cover something like this.

The only reason The Informant can bring you day-to-day coverage of the Cantwell trial is because of our paid subscribers. If that includes you, thank you! If it doesn’t, I want to encourage you to consider buying a subscription to The Informant today. Every new subscriber we sign up over these next two weeks will help cover our costs for this undertaking.

We’ll spare your inbox

Don’t worry. Daily coverage of this trial won’t mean daily emails flooding your inbox. Starting on Monday and going until the trial ends, we’ll send you no more than two emails per week. For the rest of of our coverage, you’ll have to click on over to The Informant’s homepage.

If you have any questions or comments, you can always email me at nick@informant.news or find me on Twitter at @nickmartin.

Thank you for reading.