Funded! This project was successfully funded on October 14, 2013.

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We are creating a global conversation across borders, disciplines & ideologies on issues, events & trends that matter to our world.

Make us more inclusive, interactive, & inspiring

  • Our website and other technology infrastructures (technology improvement)
  • Key UI/UX improvements to create a better experience for readers around the world (user experience improvement)
  • Optimization of our website for maximum outreach so that we can be read on the slowest computers and connections (access improvement)

  • New content delivery networks to improve access to remote regions (technology improvement)
  • Greater visual and video elements (user experience improvement)
  • Regular Socratic debates with voices from around the world (live & recorded experiences)
  • Our dedicated volunteer editors through providing them laptops and fast Internet connections (people in the org)
  • Our "volunteers & the media" community development activities, which means training folks to write or make visual presentations on issues relevant in their regions (giving back to the community)

  • Visual analysis to compliment our narrative analysis of the compelling issues in our world (content improvement)
  • Infographics, presentations and data visualizations based on the trends and movements across the globe (more user experience improvement)
  • Fair Observer's first live streaming video show (live & recorded experiences)

  • Audio-visual analysis of multiple topics by contributors from around the world (live & recorded experiences)
  • Live debates on the Fair Observer live stream & in person (more live & recorded experiences)
  • Expansion of in person community development activities (giving back to the community)

  • We will be able to create a bottom-up media with voices from across the world. You will be able to set topics, comment, become contributors, and earn the right to be editors on a platform that works seamlessly across all kinds of devices (participation, content & technology improvement)
  • We will be able to train more people in remote places in the planet, starting with Africa, so that we integrate hitherto unheard narratives and stories into the global discourse (giving back to the community)
  • We will be able to pay stipends to our core team that has been living on little for far too long (people in the org)

Problem: Noise & Bias

“The sole aim of journalism should be service.” - Mahatma Gandhi

Media organizations have been struggling in the age of the Internet. Advertising revenues have shrunk, and readers do not buy subscriptions. Budget pressures have led to fewer jobs in journalism. For every person who works at a newspaper, there are four people working in public relations. Consequently, press releases often masquerade as newspaper articles.

Of course, the Internet has allowed thousands of amazing people to blog. But it also has an awful amount of noise. If you don’t know a subject area it is impossible to know where to go. Partisanship is on the rise — both on the right and the left. The Internet was supposed to herald a brave new world, in which the best information came to our fingertips. Instead, it has created echo chambers, where people go to websites that confirm their prejudices.

Media narratives are still resolutely national. Other parts of the world are viewed through the eyes of a foreign correspondent. We are largely unaware of perspectives from other countries or cultures. There is little room for debate or discussion. We are still stuck in our silos. As global citizens, we are unable to make sense of the world.

Solution: Fair Observer

Many of us care about freedom, diversity, and fairness for all. We care about making the world a better place, and believe that our actions matter. So, we want to know: Why are folks in Egypt or Brazil out on the streets? Why is inequality increasing? Who pays taxes, who avoids them, and how do we create a fair system? What drives innovation? Why does culture matter?

Fair Observer is run by an all-volunteer team from around the world. We are adopting the non-profit model because our mission is to inform, educate and inspire. We have poured our hearts and souls into getting a global conversation going on issues that matter. We know that all of us have blindsides, but when we come together cutting across class, race, language, gender and philosophies, we get a better approximation of the truth. So we focus on a 360° Analysis, where we provide the context to the issue and insights from around the world.

Testimonials

How does it work right now?

Our Beta website already provides our signature “360° Analysis.” We recognize that everyone has a bias, so we do not claim to provide “impartial” information. Instead, for any issue, we provide you with a context and various perspectives from around the world. Many of our contributions come from narratives that have long been excluded from mainstream media. By telling you why things are happening and what other people are thinking, we enable you to navigate an increasingly complex world.

Anyone can submit content, in any form, on any issue. Articles, infographics, cartoons, audio, video, etc., are all welcome. Your worldview need not be formed by your national media. Fair Observer is proud to provide you with insights from over 600 people from all over the globe: Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Europe, North America, and South America.

To ensure that we don’t drown in noise, our editors filter the content. Every viewpoint from around the world is welcome, but this is no place for propaganda or bigotry.

Right now, all content is sent to Fair Observer via email, and we get over 500 messages a day. Our folks are running ragged, editing and uploading all of this material. They work round the clock, seven days a week, for no pay, and get little sleep.

So how will it work after you back us?

The new web platform will have a great user interface that will present our content more clearly. When you visit the homepage, you will be invited to get involved. There will be more interactive content such as maps, infographics, cartoons, audio and video. The website will be optimized for all devices: laptop, smartphone, or tablet. You will be able to use any device you wish.

We are anticipating a more "democratized" website in the next version, with features for greater user interaction. For example, our users will help shape Fair Observer's editorial agenda. You will be able suggest issues, recommend contributors, and propose partner organizations. As mentioned earlier, contributors email content and our editing team uploads it. As in other websites, we would like you to be able to create your contributor profile and upload your own content. When you upload your content, it will sit in a holding bin until cleared by an editor.

Just as anyone can become a contributor, anyone will be able to earn the right to be an editor. There will be three ways to do so:

  • Reputation: You will be invited to be an editor on the basis of your suggestions and comments.
  • Recommendation: Contributors and current editors will be able to nominate you as editors.
  • Application: If you have expertise in a field, you can apply to be an editor in your subject area. You can also apply to be a copy editor, if you enjoy fine tuning an argument and have a keen eye for grammar.

What are we doing to earn your pledge? 

Fair Observer is a labor of love, which our volunteer crew pours its heart and soul in to create what you see. We have great content, a decent website, and terrific contributors. Now, we plan to convert our website into a dynamic platform for a global community of like-minded citizens. It will be a place where people can engage in dialogue as citizens of our increasingly interconnected world. To accomplish this, additional financial resources are needed to pay for the coding and design work.

By backing this project, you will help create the world’s first truly global media platform. You enable voices and narratives that have long been marginalized to find their place in the sun. You encourage a thoughtful exchange of ideas and reduce misinformation that inspires hate, fear, and violence. You fight ignorance and apathy that kill more people than bombs and bullets.

Knowledge is power to the people. Your contribution will empower the people. You will help make the world a better place.

How will we use the funds?

  • Launch a redesigned website: A new user interface will allow visitors to access content more efficiently, and have an overall better experience navigating the site;
  • Feature new tools for user participation;
  • Optimize versions for Android, iPhone and tablet, so you may use any device you wish to access Fair Observer and enjoy a similar positive user experience across the board;
  • Maintain our website, fix bugs, and run our servers; need we say more?

Who are we?

Editors

Writer, orator, and former poet who fought corruption as a young officer and stood up to the Prime Minister's Office in India; Radhakrishnan Scholar at Oxford, triple major from Wharton, and former corporate lawyer in London
Writer, orator, and former poet who fought corruption as a young officer and stood up to the Prime Minister's Office in India; Radhakrishnan Scholar at Oxford, triple major from Wharton, and former corporate lawyer in London
Co-author of The Arab Uprisings: An Introduction with an MSc in Middle East Politics and previous experience at the Gorkana Group; Mr Fair Observer started as an editorial assistant and has relentlessly worked his way to the top
Co-author of The Arab Uprisings: An Introduction with an MSc in Middle East Politics and previous experience at the Gorkana Group; Mr Fair Observer started as an editorial assistant and has relentlessly worked his way to the top
Former Europe Editor, experience with the BBC and the United Nations; MA from King’s College London, and BA from Edinburgh University
Former Europe Editor, experience with the BBC and the United Nations; MA from King’s College London, and BA from Edinburgh University
Former print and broadcast journalist at the BBC, Indian Express, and among the finalists shortlisted for the Guardian International Development Achievement Award; MSc from Bristol University, UK, and BA from Delhi University, India
Former print and broadcast journalist at the BBC, Indian Express, and among the finalists shortlisted for the Guardian International Development Achievement Award; MSc from Bristol University, UK, and BA from Delhi University, India
Has a passion for the Middle East and expertise in Islamist movements; holds an MSc in International Politics from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
Has a passion for the Middle East and expertise in Islamist movements; holds an MSc in International Politics from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
Freelance journalist and translator with experience in Germany, the US and the UK; studied politics in Munich and London
Freelance journalist and translator with experience in Germany, the US and the UK; studied politics in Munich and London
Obsessed with policy and politics, both national and international; extensive campaign and entrepreneurial experience; educated in the US, the UK, and Europe with an MA in International Relations
Obsessed with policy and politics, both national and international; extensive campaign and entrepreneurial experience; educated in the US, the UK, and Europe with an MA in International Relations
Former David L. Boren Fellow with extensive field experience in Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan; publications on the Levant, Iraq, Iran, and the Gulf countries featured in the Jamestown Foundation and other publications
Former David L. Boren Fellow with extensive field experience in Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan; publications on the Levant, Iraq, Iran, and the Gulf countries featured in the Jamestown Foundation and other publications
Director of Digital Media at a distinguished network of Brazilian newspapers; novelist, non-fiction author and lead guitarist of Viper, one of the leading Brazilian rock bands
Director of Digital Media at a distinguished network of Brazilian newspapers; novelist, non-fiction author and lead guitarist of Viper, one of the leading Brazilian rock bands


Tech Gurus

Co-founder of three startups; degree in Physics and  Mechanical Engineering at MIT and an avid guitarist
Co-founder of three startups; degree in Physics and Mechanical Engineering at MIT and an avid guitarist
Has worked in electronic, financial, and hospital software; masters from UPenn and a voracious reader with a love for history and politics
Has worked in electronic, financial, and hospital software; masters from UPenn and a voracious reader with a love for history and politics

 Contributors (600+ from 30+ countries) 

Former Prime Minister of Ireland and previous EU Ambassador to the USA; leading figure in the Northern Ireland peace process
Former Prime Minister of Ireland and previous EU Ambassador to the USA; leading figure in the Northern Ireland peace process

Human Rights Attorney; Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University and Co-Editor of Jadaliyya
Human Rights Attorney; Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University and Co-Editor of Jadaliyya
Corporate Lawyer with experience in London and New York; educated at Harvard and Cambridge
Corporate Lawyer with experience in London and New York; educated at Harvard and Cambridge
Associate Professor at the Complex Systems Institute of UNC Charlotte; expertise in Chinese Internet technologies, politics, and policies
Associate Professor at the Complex Systems Institute of UNC Charlotte; expertise in Chinese Internet technologies, politics, and policies
Social writer in Hollywood, focusing on creating political films; educated at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government
Social writer in Hollywood, focusing on creating political films; educated at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government
Over 30 years of executive leadership in non-governmental, humanitarian organizations in numerous countries; Founder of Bridging the Divide, dedicated to the system-level reform of American foreign assistance
Over 30 years of executive leadership in non-governmental, humanitarian organizations in numerous countries; Founder of Bridging the Divide, dedicated to the system-level reform of American foreign assistance
Leading Indian environmentalist and winner of numerous awards; physicist whose PhD was on the philosophical underpinnings of quantum mechanics
Leading Indian environmentalist and winner of numerous awards; physicist whose PhD was on the philosophical underpinnings of quantum mechanics
Poet, scholar and activist; Founder & Director of Engender, a human rights non-governmental organization
Poet, scholar and activist; Founder & Director of Engender, a human rights non-governmental organization

Leading public intellectual and historian on the modern Middle East and South Asia; Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan
Leading public intellectual and historian on the modern Middle East and South Asia; Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan
Senior Asia Analyst at a private security firm; served four years on the De-Militarized Zone between North and South Korea with the US Army’s most forward deployed forces
Senior Asia Analyst at a private security firm; served four years on the De-Militarized Zone between North and South Korea with the US Army’s most forward deployed forces
Director of the International News Safety Institute; former Journalist at the BBC, Reuters, The Times, and ITN
Director of the International News Safety Institute; former Journalist at the BBC, Reuters, The Times, and ITN
Leading African business leader and philanthropist; named one of the Top 100 Most Influential Africans in the area of business and finance by New African, the leading pan-African magazine on current affairs in 2011
Leading African business leader and philanthropist; named one of the Top 100 Most Influential Africans in the area of business and finance by New African, the leading pan-African magazine on current affairs in 2011


Content Partners

A number of prestigious organizations from around the world publish with us to reach our global audience.

Founded in 1918, the mission of the Foreign Policy Association today, as it has been throughout its 95-year history, is to serve as  a catalyst for developing awareness, understanding, and informed opinion on US foreign policy and global issues.
Founded in 1918, the mission of the Foreign Policy Association today, as it has been throughout its 95-year history, is to serve as a catalyst for developing awareness, understanding, and informed opinion on US foreign policy and global issues.
The Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP), or the German Institute for International and Security Affairs, provides wide-ranging analysis on foreign policy issues to both the Bundestag and the German Federal Government, as well as to the general public.
The Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP), or the German Institute for International and Security Affairs, provides wide-ranging analysis on foreign policy issues to both the Bundestag and the German Federal Government, as well as to the general public.
The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University is a leading professional school of international affairs. It is notable for its diverse student body and its interdisciplinary approach.
The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University is a leading professional school of international affairs. It is notable for its diverse student body and its interdisciplinary approach.
The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business is dedicated to sharing its wealth of information with the world. It does this through Knoweldge@Wharton, Wharton’s online business journal.
The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business is dedicated to sharing its wealth of information with the world. It does this through Knoweldge@Wharton, Wharton’s online business journal.
Rajaratnam School of International Studies is graduate school at the prestigious Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. The school has research opportunities and classes focused on national security and strategic and international affairs.
Rajaratnam School of International Studies is graduate school at the prestigious Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. The school has research opportunities and classes focused on national security and strategic and international affairs.
The Gateway House: Indian Council on Global Relations is a foreign policy think-tank established in 2009, to engage India’s leading corporations and individuals in debate and scholarship on India’s foreign policy and its role in global affairs.
The Gateway House: Indian Council on Global Relations is a foreign policy think-tank established in 2009, to engage India’s leading corporations and individuals in debate and scholarship on India’s foreign policy and its role in global affairs.
Jadaliyya is an independent ezine that provides a unique source of insight and critical analysis that combines local knowledge, scholarship, and advocacy with an eye to audiences in the United States, the Middle East and beyond.
Jadaliyya is an independent ezine that provides a unique source of insight and critical analysis that combines local knowledge, scholarship, and advocacy with an eye to audiences in the United States, the Middle East and beyond.
The Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) is an enlightenment organization committed to finding innovative practical solutions to today’s social challenges.
The Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) is an enlightenment organization committed to finding innovative practical solutions to today’s social challenges.
The Jamestown Foundation’s mission is to inform and educate policy makers and the broader community about events and trends in those societies, which are strategically or tactically important to the United States.
The Jamestown Foundation’s mission is to inform and educate policy makers and the broader community about events and trends in those societies, which are strategically or tactically important to the United States.
361 Security collates and streamlines timely and accurate intelligence and information into a single-source access website that combines the multitudes of functionality, currently dispersed across varying services.
361 Security collates and streamlines timely and accurate intelligence and information into a single-source access website that combines the multitudes of functionality, currently dispersed across varying services.
The World Outline is a new media startup that aims to become one of the primary online world news websites through reporting on the latest international developments via diverse contributors and a first-class editorial team.
The World Outline is a new media startup that aims to become one of the primary online world news websites through reporting on the latest international developments via diverse contributors and a first-class editorial team.
O Cosmopolitico is a student journal on International Relations at the Federal Fluminense University in Brazil.
O Cosmopolitico is a student journal on International Relations at the Federal Fluminense University in Brazil.

Fair Observer in Action 

On World Refugee Day 2013, we published a comprehensive analysis of the refugee situation. This year, refugee numbers reached a 19-year high and we invite you to compare what we have put together with the coverage by any media organization in the world. For a complete list of Fair Observer’s World Refugee Day 2013, click here.

Spread the word!

Buddha had his monks, Jesus his apostles, and we have you. Knowledge is power to the people, so help us spread knowledge. Please back our project and ask everyone you know to help spread the word!

• Follow us on Twitter

• Like us on Facebook

• Join our LinkedIn group

• Look us up on Tumblr

• Find us on Google+

• Read our Blog

• Tweet about our project:

  • Support independent, non-partisan, global media. Pledge to #FairObserver on Kickstarter! http://kck.st/1cInd2p #MakingSense

  • For news analysis from global narratives, pledge to #FairObserver on Kickstarter: http://kck.st/1cInd2p #MakingSense

  • Understand deeper issues behind the news. Pledge to #FairObserver on Kickstarter! http://kck.st/1cInd2p #MakingSense
  • Knowledge is power to the people, so help us spread knowledge. Pledge to #FairObserver on Kickstarter! http://kck.st/1cInd2p #MakingSense

Thank You

Fair Observer would not be possible without the readers, editors, contributors, tech gurus, and supporters who have backed us over the last two years.

We owe special thanks to Adelaide Chen who created our video. Esther Wojcicki, Christine Currie,  Eliza Ridgeway, Mark Tuschman, Pascal Finette, Ashish Chordia and Bernhard Janke of GSVA have our eternal gratitude for providing the equipment and locations to film the video.

Announcements

We are now participating in the Kicking it Forward initiative, where 5% of our project's profit will be used as pledges for other Kickstarter campaigns.
We are now participating in the Kicking it Forward initiative, where 5% of our project's profit will be used as pledges for other Kickstarter campaigns.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Like Odysseus, we are embarking on a great adventure. Our risks range from the Scylla of losing the interest of our community and the Charybdis of getting sucked into creating a platform our audience finds incomprehensible. Simply and seriously, the risks are twofold: one, not capturing enough traction to create a thriving community; and two, not being able to create the right technology platform to serve the community.

You might suspect that we could take your money and sell out like Matter, a huge success in the not too distant past. To negate that possibility, we are working to become a non-profit. Atul Singh has already outlined our reasons to go the non-profit route in his article, "Media Should Not Make Money." We are absolutely clear that we exist to inform, educate and inspire. Profit maximization is not in our DNA and selling out to media Goliaths is not what drives us.

Certainly, the nonprofit model will bring its own pressures but it will mitigate potential conflicts of interest. We have chosen this model because we are ferocious about editorial independence. We publish thought provoking articles from around the world and anyone can become a contributor. Our requirements are there for everyone to see. With your help, we will transform the media and change the world.

FAQ

Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

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    You gain the satisfaction of making the Internet a more informed, balanced and cosmopolitan place. You also get our everlasting gratitude and we will tweet about you.

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    We will add your name to a special Thank You page on the Fair Observer website.

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    Your photo will be a part of “High Fivers,” a photo collage on our Facebook Wall and blog.

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    You will receive the Fair Observer Best of the Month e-booklet along with an editorial overview. It will come in MOBI, EPUB & PDF form.

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    You will receive the 2013 Fair Observer Atlas, a book length retrospective of some of our best global coverage available for your computer and e-reader. For nerds it means that the retrospective will be in MOBI, EPUB & PDF form.

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    On five occasions, we will publish a paragraph or a video clip of up to two minutes from you on our blog about issues you care about. Your content will be published in an entry titled, "Voices from the World" and we expect you to be thoughtful.

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    Join our editorial board for a year. Seriously! You can participate in the day-to-day decisions regarding the content of Fair Observer. We will be conducting the editorial board through collaborative decision making, leveraging the Brightsmith innovation & ideation platform. This means that even before the new website is launched you will suggest topics, rate and rank those topics, recommend contributors, and engage in discussions on each and every idea.

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    You get to speak with one of our editors over Skype for up to an hour as long as you promise not to stalk them. You can stalk our Founder though. He is fair game.

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    For $360 you get a "360° Analysis" — our signature product — where we provide context and multiple perspectives on a topic of your choice. You can choose any geopolitical, social or cultural issue in the world that you care about. We will go out and find the contributors from around the world to analyze the issue.

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    4 backers

    We invite you to five Socratic discussions on Google Hangouts for an hour each with like minded folks. Atul Singh, our Founder & Editor-in-Chief, will moderate the discussion. We will do a "360° Analysis" on the topic you discuss and dedicate it to you.

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    This is our institution-level sponsorship, for those who want to reach our influential and international audience. Become a sponsor and for three months, we will display your logo on our sponsor page and the logo will be linked to your website. We will also put your logo in our newsletter. Individuals are welcome too – let us talk. For more information, contact us at sponsorship@fairobserver.com.

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    You get Atul Singh, our Founder & Editor-in-Chief, to speak at any event of your choice: dinner, conference or a retreat. THE OTHER CHOICE is to become our sponsor for six months.

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    If you pledge this amount, you really care about the quality of public discourse and want to make a difference. In your honor, we will conduct workshops in five schools across three continents. We will expose young minds to different national narratives so that they become better global citizens. ALTERNATIVELY, you can be our sponsor for fifteen months.

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Funding period

- (60 days)