In February, we launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund a 100% people-funded online media outlet. While the support for our project was resounding and the pledges flooded in, we did not meet our goal. Still, the outpouring of encouragement we received has made us confident that, together, we can still make our vision a reality.
Rather than give up, we’ve changed our funding strategy and launched a new campaign. The great thing about our new strategy is that we will begin creating and delivering programs and articles in early June, so everyone can check out what we’re producing before the campaign is even over!
Before getting into the details of our new plan, here’s some background for all of you who are new to our project:
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.
The REVISED Details
Newsbud will be a news and multimedia network unlike anything else online, in print, or on TV. All Newsbud reports and multimedia productions will be entirely independent and nonpartisan and will be developed, written, produced, and vetted by our staff, who will be paid with funding from the public.
To achieve this goal, we will:
1. Run four Kickstarter fundraising campaigns over an 18-month period. For each campaign, our funding goal will be $150K.
2. Run an ongoing subscription drive during all four Kickstarter campaigns. The subscription fee will be $60/year or $7/month.
3. Encourage people to both pledge and subscribe to bring in additional funding.
4. Begin creating and posting daily videos and podcasts, weekly articles, and analyses right away. These will be available for all to view starting in early June so everyone can see the quality product Newsbud will deliver. (Development of our website will come in a later phase, so until then we will operate Newsbud via BoilingFrogsPost.com.)
This is important too: While our goal for each phase is $150K, the more we receive, the fewer phases it’ll take for us to start operating at 100%.
With each successful Kickstarter campaign and funding drive, we will launch additional programs and content and bring in more staff. At the end of Phase 4, Newsbud will be the fully operational, truly independent, 100% people-funded news sources we’re all waiting for. Upon completion of the fourth phase, subscribers will have access to:
- Headline news (updated hourly, weekdays, 5 days per week)
- Original investigative stories (2 to 3 per week)
- Evening News (weekdays, 5 days per week)—a 30-minute news show covering significant news stories and one feature story every weekday evening
- Analysis videos (daily)—providing analysis and multiple perspectives on several of the day’s stories
- Podcast shows (daily)—featuring in-depth discussions and analyses with expert guests
- Editorials and analyses (daily)
- Original editorial cartoons (2 to 3 per week, weekdays)
- Live chat with VIP guests (weekly)
- Discussion forums—24/7 monitored and managed public discussions and activism
- Roundtable political discussions (video, every Sunday)
- Book and film reviews
- and more
Once we are fully operational, Newsbud will be a subscription-based service. People can subscribe and have full site access for $60/year or $7/month.
But we want as many people to be able to access our content as possible, so we’ll make everything we produce available for free two weeks after its initial airing on our site.
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 1 of what we believe will be the only truly independent and agenda-free major media network, we need to raise a minimum of $150,000 in 45 days.
To help, please pledge whatever you can.
We’re also asking you to subscribe—don’t worry, you’ll get to start viewing articles and programs by early June even if you don’t subscribe or pledge!
Finally, 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 new approach will allow 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
- (45 days)