We are a team of over 100 (and growing) ordinary freelance, journalists, bloggers, commentators, illustrators and news reporters, who like you, are fed up with mainstream media and want to do something about it.
After countless coffee fuelled meetings, we realised the problem at hand was bigger than 100 people and that doing something about the problem would mean sacrificing a lot. We looked around at other organisations and struggled to find any doing what we imagined and that's when it dawned on us; we had to do it ourselves.
This presented us with our first problem. Funding. The normal route to market is to look for co-operations, capitalists, rich business owners or champagne socialists who would fund our project. But was what they would want in return worth it? NO. This is the very problem with mainstream media.
If we are serious about a news media system for the people, then it must be controlled and funded by the people. Presenting: The Common Sense network, a 100% people-funded News Network, for millennials, by millennials.
The mainstream media is broken and it has been for a while. 6 companies control 81% of the news media market and 3 networks dominate all of news reporting. These networks have many ties with people and organisations that want to influence what’s reported—think billionaire owners, mega-corporations, Russian oligarchs and big-money advertisers.
Because they depend on these funders to keep the lights on, they have an incentive to represent their interest. Whilst they do that, they are not representing you or driven by presenting you with the truth.
Read more about the problem here.
The Common Sense network is the solution. Rather than waiting for the mainstream media to change, we want to do something about this problem. We are attempting to take power back from the elites and hand it back to the ordinary people. TCS network will be a major independent platform, free from compromises and partisan agendas that come with a dependence on corporate advertisers and the ultra-rich. We will be 100% funded by people like you and so our only agenda will be to work in the interest of people like you.
Why Common Sense?
The common sense brand is two tier.
1) The commentary: The current state of news media in the UK is heavily polarised. What this means is that right wing media has its own corner and left wing media has its own, but there is no concerted effort to find a common sense between them. The gap between left and right is getting bigger. People continue to stay in their non-interacting bubbles and this largely divides the population.
Our news commentary won’t be left or right, instead, TCS network will be a platform where you can see opinions across the spectrum, leaving YOU as the judge, jury and executioner. We won’t tell you want to think or bully you into any specific corner. You get a chance to hear both sides and we will try and find common sense between both sides leaving you to decide what you think.
2) The Style: In recent years, political correctness has intensified to dizzying levels, silencing honest debate along the way and excluding a large section of the British public through fear and demonisation.
Millennials often don’t watch the news because they feel like "teleprompter obsessed" news readers speak a different language to them and purposefully seek to exclude them from debate. TCS network will get rid of this. Our commentary, across the network, will be ‘common sense’. Straight talking commentary that shoots from the hips. No spin, no bias, the honest and unfiltered truth; because unlike mainstream media, we trust people with the truth.
TCS network will operate through three main arms which are co-dependant and work together to create a holistic news media service.
- TCS OPTIC
This is the visual element of the TCS network. It includes all TCS’s visual programming with a flagship show being TCS (The Common Sense) an online political/social commentary web series. TCS optic caters for the socially conscious millennial; those that want to stay informed but don’t have the commitment for cable news which offers them no flexibility with its rigid programming and timings.
- TCS SCRIBE
This is the written element of the TCS network. Scribe will be an online platform for articles and written materials. It will feature high-quality, independent reporting typified by that straight talking common sense brand. TCS scribe will harnesses different voices and perspectives to provide online commentary on a range of issues, from investigative pieces, to blog and opinion pieces.
- TCS MODAL
This covers the more evolving events and merchandise side of the TCS network. TCS will seek to mobilise the public by raising awareness about TCS brand and encouraging more straight talking commentary. With the aim of fostering greater civic engagement, though events, live shows and merchandise. TCS Modal will seek to inspire more informed and active millennials that hold power to account.
This campaign is called #ItsCommonSense and it will be the first time a genuinely 100% people-funded, non-partisan network is being attempted in the UK. We are on the cusp of creating history and creating something that cannot be seen anywhere else, in print or on TV. All TCS reports and multimedia productions will be entirely independent and will be developed, written, produced, and vetted by our staff, who will be paid with funding from the public.
Our fundraising goal is simple and desperately needed. To make this platform possible we are seeking to raise £100,000 in just under 50 days.
This money will allow us to,
- Build a core production team
*Full Time Staff *Part Time Staff
- Build a Multifunctional Website
*A home for our journalists and reporters and for those who want to read our commentary *Separate pages logins and members area *Housing our videos and live streaming debates
- Build Equipment
*Cameras for filming shows *Backdrops
- Complete a University tour
We will take TCS show to over 15 universities, running live shows on campuses. These shows will feature, debates, speeches, performance and much more, geared towards mobilising millennials to hold power to account and to become more active citizens. The live shows will be filmed and available for all to watch.
- Producing viral videos on news, popular culture and social commentary.
Once we are fully operational, TCS network will be a subscription-based service. People can subscribe and have full site access for £49.99/year or £4.99/month.
But we want as many people to be able to access our content as possible, so we will have lots of content FREE on our social media platforms.
To help us reach this target, please pledge whatever you can. Anything you give is a step closer to this dream becoming a reality and a more resilient UK Press. Encourage everyone you know to give something and this fundraiser could be over in hours.
Please connect with us on ALL social media outlets and encourage friends to do the same!
Subscribe to The Common Sense network on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCeGLegwd1apHrshq3bKIPeQ
Follow The Common Sense network on Twitter: https://twitter.com/TCSNetwork_
Like The Common Sense network on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TCSONLINE/
Like The CommonSense network on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tcsnetwork/?hl=en
Please, support our effort—pledge, subscribe, tell people. Without you, we cannot build the independent news source that we the people deserve.
The rich and powerful want you to read this and carry on as normal. They want us to run out of energy and give up, but we won’t. We won’t stop if you don’t stop. We can only do that when we are 100% publicly funded, and that means we need you, your voice, and your commitment to our cause.
Risks and challenges
Our major challenge to date has been access funding. Because we are refusing to take money from large cooperations and their type, funding this project has been more incremental.
Instead of the fast route to market co-operations, capitalists, rich business owners and champagne socialists offer, we value of journalistic integrity more. We are relying on ordinary people for funding. This process is more painstaking and takes more time, but it means we can stay true to what we are and also be bold, free and fearless, knowing we have your backing.
This funding model also helps us to develop our media platform incrementally and avoid most of the pitfalls associated with an all-in-one approach.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (51 days)