Newsbud Phase 3, Support a 100% People-Funded Media Outlet
Tired of getting your news from sources funded by mega-corporations? Newsbud—100% people-funded media. Where media integrity matters.
In 2016, you helped us bring the first two phases of our 100% people-funded, independent media project to life. Thank you! For Phase 1, we not only exceeded our goal but also became the most funded Kickstarter Journalism project of all time. We raised nearly $172,000 with Phase 1 and, for Phase 2, over 1,000 pledged nearly $138,000 to help make the campaign a success.
Now we need to work together to fund Phase 3 of our 4-phase project, so we can make history as the first 100% people-funded media outlet. For the current Phase 3 campaign, our goal is to raise at least $115K in 45 days.
Before telling you about all the progress we’ve made with the funding from Phase 2 and explaining our plans for Phase 3 funding, I’ll give some background to all of you who are new to our project.
The Problem: Current Media Outlets
These days, major media sources have too many ties with people and organizations that want to influence what’s reported—think billionaire owners, mega-corporations, and big-money advertisers. Even our so-called public radio and TV are compromised by their reliance on funding from corporations, foundations, and government. And while there are thousands of excellent independent bloggers and citizen reporters out there, it’s not easy to find and identify the “good ones” and keep up with all of them.
The Solution: Newsbud
Newsbud is a truly independent alternative because it is 100% people funded and free from the compromises and partisan agendas that come with a dependence on corporate advertisers and the ultra-rich. Plus, while it shares a similar spirit with the bloggers and citizen reporters, when fully funded Newsbud will have the resources and staffing to make our outlet an easily accessed center stage for high-quality, independent reporting.
To establish Newsbud as an independent and sustainable news outlet, we have developed a two-pronged model. Our model includes: 1) four Kickstarter campaigns and 2) building and maintaining a solid subscription base. The funding generated by these two sources will be the foundation and ongoing resource that will make Newsbud a sustainable, independent operation.
The incremental approach we’ve developed enables you, our supporters, to review our record of accomplishments and assess our performance. You don’t have to simply trust that we can get this done; instead, you can see our successes and growth at each stage. Our progress between each Kickstarter campaign is proof of the expansion, developments, and productivity we can achieve with your funding.
Video URL: https://youtu.be/5jty-IUoQ-o
Progress Report—What We’ve Done with Phase 2 Funding
We’ve made a lot of progress since our successful Kickstarter Phase 2 campaign, and we’re putting your money to good use.
1. Built Multinational, Multifaceted Team
We added valuable members to the Newsbud team.
Peter Lee, Senior Analyst & Commentator. Produces “China Watch with Peter Lee” for Newsbud.
John W. Whitehead, Constitutional Attorney, Producer & Author. A top constitutional attorney and already a regular Newsbud contributor, produces “Battlefield America with John W. Whitehead” for Newsbud, focusing on civil liberties and police-state practices and developments.
Jeff DeRiso, Video Production Editor. Joins Spiro and Broc to produce Newsbud video content and produces “Mind Hack with Jeff DeRiso” for Newsbud, analyzing news stories focused on psychological manipulation.
Pye Ian, Senior Analyst & Commentator. Applies expertise as an economic and geopolitical researcher and strategic planning and business development advisor to Newsbud analyses and commentaries.
Ali Syed, Researcher & Analyst. Assists Newsbud team with research and analyses, with a focus on NATO, the Middle East, and the EU.
Bas Spliet, Author & Analyst. Based in Belgium, provides research and analyses on geopolitical developments in Europe and the Middle East.
Be sure to check out Newsbud's bios for details about all our new team members.
2. Recording Studio
Our recording studio is now fully equipped with everything needed to create professional quality shows. We’ve outfitted it with sound proofing, a teleprompter, studio lighting, multiple cameras, wireless microphones, a green screen, multiple tripods, a professional audio mixer, additional software, and many other essential gadgets.
3. Social Media Growth
Twitter. We have nearly tripled our Twitter following since our Phase 2 campaign, from 4,800 to over 11,000.
YouTube. Newsbud’s YouTube subscriber number has surpassed our 30,000 target. Since our Phase 2 campaign, we’ve doubled our subscriber base from 16,000 to nearly 33,000.
Instagram. We grew our Instagram subscriber base from zero to 5,000 in just three months.
Facebook. We have over 14,000 followers on Facebook and expanded our daily post reach.
You can review all our social media accounts here:
4. Multimedia Programs & Offerings
- “Battlefield America with John W. Whitehead.” Weekly legal analyses and commentaries related to the escalation of police-state practices and our ever-changing and diminishing constitutional rights as citizens.
- “Russian Newspapers Monitor with Prof. Filip Kovacevic.” Weekly coverage and analyses of developments pertaining to Russia and the Balkans.
- “China Watch with Peter Lee.” Weekly analyses and commentaries covering politics in China and Asia-Pacific.
- “The Geopolitical Report with Kurt Nimmo.” Weekly comprehensive investigative reporting on significant cases and issues that have been ignored or censored by the mainstream media.
- “Mind Hack with Jeff DeRiso.” Weekly examination of news stories focused on psychological manipulation, seeking to determine the ethical boundary between honest persuasion and malicious coercion.
- “Newsbud Roundtable.” Stimulating, informed, and heated political roundtable discussion with independent experts.
- Interviews & Commentaries. Monthly interviews about topics and guests censored by the mainstream and pseudo-alternative outlets. For example, last month we featured UK Whistleblower Nicholas Wilson: “Whistleblower Takes On The Dirtiest Bank In The World.”
- Investigative Reports. Exclusive reports about intriguing topics such as “Agent Orange & Unexploded Ordnance in Vietnam.”
Daily aggregated news list, carefully researched and selected from several dozens of vetted sources.
Articles & Analyses
A variety of articles penned by experts on the Newsbud team. You can follow the below links to see some of the work we've produced:
- Pye Ian, Newsbud Senior Analyst (Geopolitical Economy & Finance)
- Christian Sorensen, Newsbud Reporter & Analyst (DOD Reports)
- Christoph Germann, Newsbud Reporter & Analyst (Central Asia & Caucasus)
- Bas Spliet, Newsbud Reporter & Analyst (Middle East & EU)
- Erik Moshe, Newsbud Author & Analyst (MIC & Drones)
Newsbud Academy offers online, graduate-level courses on current and significant topics taught by internationally recognized and respected experts. Our first course, “Foundations of Anglo-American & Russian Geopolitics,” begins June 10th.
Newsbud Academy promo video:
Video URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VS3EQGksVGE
We’ve begun creating and sending monthly Newsbud Newsletters to our subscribers.
You can review all the progress we were able to achieve with funding from our successful Phase 1 campaign here.
Thank you to everyone who has provided the support and encouragement we needed to make such great strides! We appreciate you and all your efforts on our behalf!
We’ve done a lot of work in the nine months since our first Kickstarter campaign, and we’re incredibly proud of what you’ve helped us achieve so far. Now it’s time for Phase 3, and it is essential that we achieve our goal for this phase so we can continue to maintain operations, expand, and grow.
As you know, our plan is to hold four Kickstarter fundraising campaigns over an 18-month period with a total funding goal of at least $600,000. Our Phase 1 campaign raised over $170,000 and Phase 2 raised nearly $138,000. For Phase 3, we’re setting a goal of $115,000 in 45 days. We will only receive funding if we meet our goal by the deadline.
Here’s what we plan to do with the funding we receive from a successful Phase 3 campaign:
1. Additional Hiring
- 1 full-time experienced investigative reporter
- 1 part-time news editor
- 1 full-time administrator
2. Subscription. Purchase a subscription to a stock image-footage database provider (e.g., Getty Images) to obtain the high-quality copyrighted material needed for video productions.
3. Recording Studio Addition. Upgrade our studio recording equipment for live-stream capabilities (TriCaster System).
4. Increased Travel Budget. Expand the travel budget for our reporters for national and international travel.
5. Bonus. If pledges exceed our goal, we will be able to:
- Hire an Economy and Finance expert and add coverage of that field to our multimedia programs and analyses.
- Hire an additional part-time investigative reporter.
- Hire a part-time post-production editor.
- Improve and expand our IT department.
- Allow more time between the end of this Kickstarter campaign and the launch of our fourth (and final!) campaign.
I know how much effort you have put into spreading the word about Newsbud. I also realize that money doesn’t grow on trees and that your decision to support our campaigns may involve significant sacrifice on your part. I recognize that you may find it frustrating when we ask you not just to pledge money to our Kickstarter campaigns but also to subscribe as a Newsbud Community Member.
I understand. But the thing is, a 100% people-funded media outlet means that we rely on your support 100%. Newsbud can only survive with a model that includes subscriptions.
Our aim is to keep as much content publicly available as possible—so far, nearly all our content and productions are available to everyone. If our subscriber number increases by 175-200 new subscribers per month, we’ll be able to keep things as is. If not, we will have to increase the amount of “subscriber only” content.
Our true objective is to be 100% open to everyone; however, we cannot make that happen without receiving the support that comes with an ever-growing base of subscribers. You can subscribe right now, here!
For a society to be responsible and empowered, it must first be informed. News media, as our primary source of information, should be the number one force for transparency and accountability. But this can only happen when reporters and media sources aren’t accountable to powerful people with vested interests in the stories being told.
For a decade and a half, I have been fighting for the public’s right to know. From whistleblowing while working as an FBI interpreter and years of leading congressional investigations, to forming the first and only National Security Whistleblowers Coalition and establishing an independent online information forum, my life’s mission has been to create an informed citizenry.
You Can Help!
To launch Phase 3 of what will be the only truly independent and agenda-free major media network, we need to raise a minimum of $115,000 in 45 days.
To help, please pledge whatever you can. Also, tell everyone you know about what we’re doing by sharing on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, YouTube, and other networks. And, please, subscribe. You can subscribe here.
Please, support our effort—pledge, subscribe, tell people. Without you, we cannot build the independent news source that we the people deserve. 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 phased approach allows us to develop our media platform incrementally and avoid most of the pitfalls associated with an all-in-one approach. To be successful, we must achieve our Kickstarter campaign goals AND build a base of subscribers.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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