After nearly 44 years of combating liberal media bias and inaccuracy from our nation’s capital, Accuracy in Media moved this week to the nearby Maryland suburb of Bethesda.
We didn’t plan to move or want to move, but our landlord decided about a year or so ago to raze our building and redevelop it into a mix of luxury apartments and retail stores.
So off we went on our office space hunt, hoping to stay in the same neighborhood. But with other tenants in the building also on the move, it didn’t take very long before the inventory became tight and prices started to rise in typical free-market supply and demand fashion.
That led to expanding our search to nearby Maryland, where most of our employees live. And since we wanted to stay close to D.C., Bethesda became the obvious choice.
One of the challenges in finding office space is finding a building that has small blocks of space available. In our case we had approximately 4,000 square feet in D.C., and most of what we found was either too large or oddly configured, before we settled on a smaller space, hoping to make it work.
I’m writing about this because for AIM it is an historic move. Our new office will be only our sixth since our inception in 1969, and our first outside Washington, D.C. We had been in our previous location for nearly 20 years and had a lease that was good through 2020, so we thought we were settled for the foreseeable future.
The other reason I mention our move is that our founder, my father Reed Irvine, was adamant that AIM remain in the District for a variety of reasons. Time and technology have now rendered many of those reasons obsolete. But I do wonder, given that reality, whether or not he would have approved. I hope so.
While squeezing into smaller space is never easy, it has forced the staff do so some serious examination of what we really needed. I’m still holding on to the last batch of my father’s work papers he brought home the day he suffered his stroke. But I have purged many of the books he collected, read and notated knowing that I will never read them and they will be better off in someone else’s library.
On the other hand, the move has given us a chance to redesign the office to fit our needs going forward. We have a new editing suite and studio in which we will be better able to shoot video. We have added soundproofing there as well as in our conference room, which will also double as a larger studio, giving us a flexibility we didn’t previously have.
In addition to the studio facilities, we also have a dedicated area for interns for our American Journalism Center project, and they will now have an environment that I hope will improve work flow and increase collaboration among them as well as with the AIM staff.
And the best part is that we were able to modestly upgrade the office without incurring any out-of-pocket expense.
The move has been daunting, to say the least, but now we are poised to continue and even expand our work, which will probably comes as an extreme disappointment to the mainstream media.