Five paradoxes about the state of the media

We are living in a time full of threats – and unprecedented possibilities, especially when it comes to the state of the media. Let’s consider five paradoxes, in no particular order.

Is print dead or reviving?

Rumours of the death of print magazines and newspapers have been circulating for years – but many of us are still here. What’s more, we are seeing signs of a renaissance in independent, alternative print magazines and hyperlocal newspapers.

The internet, that great disrupting technology, has prompted print’s decline, cannibalizing the revenue of publishers. After all, why buy news in print when you get it all for free online? The proportion of readers actually prepared to pay for news online (nine per cent) cannot replace those who used to buy print.1

But the internet has also been amazing for media like ours. In the days before the worldwide web, we never imagined that two million people a year would be reading our content and getting our kind of journalism, rooted in social, economic, global and environmental justice. Continue reading

A new model for the future of independent media

It’s a huge day for our colleagues in the New Internationalist office in Oxford UK. That’s where the magazine’s editorial team is based and where New Internationalist books and the famous One World Calendar are produced.

Today they are launching their #factsandheart Community Share Offer. It’s a fascinating new model for the ownership of independent media, and a chance for supporters of the New Internationalist to become co-owners.
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Ebola, as told by Sierra Leoneans

Our special edition of the New Internationalist magazine – Sierra Leone rebuilds post-Ebola – is something of a journalistic experiment. It’s the product of a collaboration with a remarkable group of Sierra Leonean citizen reporters. Trained by media advocates On Our Radar, they give us a privileged insight into the aftershocks of Ebola in this corner of West Africa.

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Do you unconsciously suffer from transphobia?

One of the bands I play in has a transgender drummer. It was a pretty tough transition for her in her day job in the jokey-blokey world of telecommunications.

The human rights of transgender people are routinely abused everywhere. Transphobia and prejudice have a heavy toll.

Globally the suicide rate is 16 per 100,000 people. But for transgender adults it is around 800 per 100,000.

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Valé Vicki Kalgovas – great friend of people, planet and global justice

Today we lost a great friend in Vicki Kalgovas. She was a fearless and tireless worker for all that is good, generous and kind, to the planet and to its people.

I first got to know Vicki when we were both working for OXFAM Australia in the 1980s, back when OXFAM was known as Community Aid Abroad. My small tech team was introducing custom-designed Donor Relationship Management software to the OXFAM State Offices. Despite not having had previous computer experience, Vicki took on the new challenge cheerfully and became our most valued software user, always ready with a good suggestion for improvement.

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David, Goliath and an Android App

When I was a kid – and gullible enough to take biblical stories literally – I was deeply impressed by the story of David and Goliath. Even now the notion that a shepherd boy with his slingshot and stones could defeat the giant armoured warrior Goliath still resonates in my work in independent media.

But in challenging the distortions and commercial bias of the mainstream media giants, it’s fortunate we have brilliant techie tools to use instead of slingshot and stones.

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Super rewards – crowdfunding finale

There are just days till the New Internationalist digital outreach crowdfunding campaign finishes, so to go out with a flourish we’ve released three super rewards for those who make a new pledge.  Our supporters have done very well – thank you so much – but at just over $8,000 raised so far, we’re still a very long way from the $28,000 we need for full implementation of the project.

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Crowdfunding our iPad App

Thanks so much to all of you who’ve already supported our crowdfunding campaign, raising the money that we need to design and distribute our latest New Internationalist digital service – the Apple iOS App for iPad and iPhone.

At the time I write this we’re within striking distance of the first goal in the campaign, which is to reach our tipping point of $7,000. Just 15 pledges of $50 (or one donation of $700!) would get us over this all-important tipping point hurdle.

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iPad subscription App crowd-funding

Today marks the public launch of the New Internationalist crowd-funding campaign – StartSomeGood.com/indy-media-app – for the design and distribution of our iPad and iPhone subscriptions App and we’d be super-appreciative of your help.

There are so many ways you can help:

Would you grab the opportunity to nurture a young activist?

The future is in good hands.  The Australian Youth Climate Coalition, GetUp, The Oaktree Foundation and many other organizations are supported by crowds of enthusiastic young activists.

The best activism is supported by meticulous research and motivational stories, and that’s exactly the specialty of the New Internationalist magazine.

Can you please help us with a pledge so that we can nurture more young activists?
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