In June, you helped us bring Phase 1 of our Kickstarter project to life. Thank you! In fact, thanks to you and all of your support, we not only met our goal but exceeded it AND became the most funded Kickstarter Journalism project of all time. Because you backed our campaign and helped us get the word out, we raised nearly $172K—more than $20K above our goal for Phase 1.
You helped us make history on Kickstarter. Now we need to work together to fund Phase 2 of our 4-phase project so we can make history as the first 100% people-funded media outlet.
For this Phase 2 campaign we’ve set a goal to raise $130K in 35 days.
Before telling you about how we’ve used the funding from Phase 1 and our plans for Phase 2 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.
For everyone who has been dreaming of a major independent media platform that’s free from the compromises and partisan agendas that come with a dependence on corporate advertisers and the ultra-rich, that dream is about to be a reality. Newsbud—Where Media Integrity Matters.
Newsbud will be a truly independent alternative because it will be one-hundred percent people funded. Plus, while it will share a similar spirit with the bloggers and citizen reporters, Newsbud will have the resources and staffing to make our outlet an easily accessed center stage for high-quality, independent reporting.
Headed up by award-winning activist, publisher, and author, Sibel Edmonds, in partnership with a network of seasoned and international producers, editors, and independent investigative journalists, Newsbud will offer original stories and investigative reports, video-podcast productions, editorials, and discussion forums.
What We’ve Done with Phase 1 Funding
We received the funds from our successful Phase 1 campaign in July, and we’ve been hard at work ever since. Here are some highlights of what we’ve been up to and how we’ve used the money you pledged to Phase 1 over the last three months.
- Purchases. Purchased professional cameras, boom microphone, desktop computer for our video producers and editors, multimedia editing and publishing software, and office furniture.
- Training. Adobe Training Courses for our video production crew.
- Website Development. Consolidated BoilingFrogsPost.com with Newsbud, website responsive-design development, site redesign.
- Hiring. Hired and trained 1 part-time website administrator.
- Bookkeeping. Accounting and payroll system development.
- Office. Small office set-up in the Bend, Oregon area.
- Travel. Travel to locations for research, documentation, and interviews—domestic and international, including New York, Greece, and Germany.
In addition to our original team members including full-time Executive Producer and Reporter Spiro Skouras and Editor-in-Chief Sibel Edmonds and part-time partners Production Editor Broc West, Russia and the Balkans Analyst Professor Filip Kovacevic, Eurasia Analyst Christoph Germann, and Military Industrial Complex Analyst Christian Sorensen, we've added the following partners to the Newsbud team:
- Analyst. Hired Legal Analyst (Constitutional Law), Todd Macfarlane (contract, part time).
- Producer & Investigative Reporter. Hired Producer and Investigative Reporter, Kurt Nimmo (contract, part time).
- Analyst. Hired Analyst specializing in Military Industrial Complex & Perpetual Wars, Erik Moshe (contract, part time).
Be sure to check out all of our new team bios.
Programs & Offerings
We've started creating and airing a variety of programs and other content.
- Newsbud Daily Picks. A daily aggregated news list, carefully selected from dozens of non-mainstream media outlets.
- Newsbud Roundtable Video Show. Stimulating, informed, and heated political roundtable discussion with independent experts.
- The Geopolitical Report with Kurt Nimmo. Comprehensive investigative reporting on significant cases and issues that have been ignored or censored by the mainstream media (below is a sample episode).
“Google's Jigsaw—Undermining Alternative Media”
- Spotlight with Sibel & Spiro. Boldly investigating and highlighting current topics glossed over or censored by the mainstream and pseudo-alternative media.
- Spiro Reports Video Presentation. An assortment of censored topics from Monsanto and chem trails to the George Soros Foundation and Influence Lobby.
- Newsbud Exclusive Weekly Analyses: The Russian Newspaper Monitor with Professor Filip Kovacevic. Professor Filip Kovacevic rips through the U.S. mass-media propaganda curtain of the new Cold War against Russia and examines what the Russian political elites are actually writing and reading on international affairs in their major newspapers. This original weekly show presents what the Russians think of world events by summarizing front-page news from several of the best-known Russian newspapers (below is a sample episode).
"Op Gladio B: US Threatens Russia with Unleashing Terrorists on Its Soil"
Social Media & Branding
- Reporting Recognition. Our breaking news, investigative reports, and analyses have received recognition and applause from media in the U.S. and abroad. Check out the following links and stories:
- “Crowdfunded News Start-Up (Newsbud) Nails NBC for Planting CIA Intel During Turkey Coup”
- “Crowdfunded Indie News Site Newsbud Takes On NBC Over Turkey Coup Propaganda”
- “Independent Media Heads to New York to Confront NBC Over MSM Lies”
- “Turkey Demands NBC Apologize For 'False' Erdogan Report”
- YouTube. We have doubled our YouTube Channel following—from 7,800 subscribers in June 2016 to 16,000+ in Oct 2016.
- Twitter. We set up our Twitter account and in less than 4 months have built a follower base of 4900+.
- Website. Our website traffic has increased from 2,000 unique visitors to 5000+.
- Search Engine Optimization. Before receiving our Kickstarter funding, a Google search for “Newsbud” brought up less than 100 results. Today, in less than 3 months, it brings up over 90,000 results.
Phase 2—The Details
We’ve done a lot of work since July, and we’re incredibly proud of what you’ve helped us achieve so far. Now it’s time for Phase 2, and it is essential that we achieve our goal for this phase so we can continue operating at our current size and operational level, and so we can expand and grow.
As you know, our plan is to run 4 Kickstarter fundraising campaigns over an 18-month period with a total funding goal of $600K+. Our Phase 1 campaign raised over $170K. For Phase 2, we’re setting a goal of $130K in 35 days. We will only receive funding if our goal is met by the deadline.
Here’s what we plan to do with the funding we receive from our successful Phase 2 campaign:
1. Additional Hiring.
- Full-time hire of Producer, Investigative Journalist, and Editor Kurt Nimmo for regular video production and other investigative projects.
- Hire 2 part-time Investigative Journalists.
- Hire 1 full-time Website Administrator.
- Hire 1 additional part-time Senior Analyst.
2. Recording Studio. Set-up a small professional recording studio (video-audio recording)—space and equipment.
3. Website Development & Mobile App. Further website development and begin development of Newsbud mobile application.
4. Newsletters. Create and send monthly Newsbud Newsletter to subscribers.
5. Travel Budget. Expand the travel budget for national and international travel for our reporters.
6. Bonus—Translation Services. If pledges exceed our goal by $35K, we will begin adding translation and subtitled production services to allow our supporters in other countries to enjoy Newsbud more fully.
"We have a long way to go: not only to continue, but to expand, become more effective, and grow together. We are only answerable to you. And you are the only ones who can keep Newsbud in existence, and allow it to go much further in pursuit of journalism with integrity. Please join us—join the Newsbud Movement, by kindly and generously pledging towards this 100% people-funded media with integrity. Yes, we have accomplished a lot. But this is only the beginning. And that’s my promise to You." -Sibel
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, Newsbud’s founder, Sibel Edmonds, has 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, her life’s mission has been to create an informed citizenry.
You Can Help!
To launch Phase 2 of what will be the only truly independent and agenda-free major media network, we need to raise a minimum of $130K in 35 days.
To help, please pledge whatever you can. Also, please tell everyone you know about what we’re doing by sharing on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, YouTube, and other networks.
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.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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