Nowadays, it might appear crazy to ask for economic support for activities carried out on the internet: new initiatives rise every day and as users – we can easily call ourselves users too – we are constantly bombarded by pleas to ‘donate’. You can ignore them, or you can choose to listen and consider the reason pushing a group of people to start a project, asking to the community to support it.
At + 31mag.nl, both the newsroom group and the collaborators, in the role of users and ‘producers’ of information, we would like to explain why we think it’s important to give an economical support to our project and what we actually do to deserve such a sign of esteem and trust.
One question, sacrosanct
“Why should I give you money?”
We believe our work is visible and measurable by the daily content we publish from almost one year, now. In nine months, we have been producing more than 1000 features, including reportages, video-reportages, surveys and insights, giving space and voice to individuals, associations and small businesses. We interviewed councillors, MPs and ordinary people. We told stories about the Netherlands, sometimes removed from the Dutch collective memory, not to mention the habits, customs and news, which we deepen from a peculiar point of view. We did all this, until this moment, without external investments, without aids. We only received help from a small group of visionary people who believed in our passion for journalism and in our good intentions.
The sustainability of the project
This is an issue we have been considering since the very beginning of the project. Anyone who knows the publishing world also knows how difficult it is to set up a stable journalistic structure and this is, precisely, due to contradictions within the sector itself: we don’t ‘sell’ goods. We simply carry out a service of public utility, without marketing purposes. At first, it gave Italian speakers the opportunity to better understand the reality around them; now this service is available for international people too. As far as we know, we are the only daily web-magazine in the Netherlands that produces original content and does not ‘speak’ Dutch, aiming at the international community as a whole.
We try to make a difference, ‘removing’ the rules of traditional journalism and recomposing them with an experimental and innovative structure. In this sense, the innovation starts in our newsroom: we are an lively and economical structure; we do not have hierarchies, but, on the contrary, we are a collective organization of workers with experience and interest in the field of information and communication, supported by a ground of open collaborators. The internal ‘ladder’ is fully open: you only need to participate and contribute.
The #Donate campaign
Unlike for the traditional route of any startup – “money first, results after” – we have reversed the terms: we started by showing our work everyday on our website, our Facebook page, and on our Twitter wall. Now, at the end of 2015, we decided to pull a budget for the first year of activities of +31mag.nl, asking your support to help us realize the many projects we have in the pipeline for 2016. On top of the list, of course, our proposition is to increase the use of English and the expansion of our original reports and theme-based routes (sections of the website we call Dossier), with more attention to culture, local stories and investigations. Finally, we launched a ‘live +31mag.nl’, because we are online, but we also organize and promote debates, screenings and conferences.
Your financial contribution will allow us to move on to phase 2 and to consolidate what has already been done. The open design of the magazine will also let all the ‘micro-publishers’ to participate and help steering the choices of the magazine; furthermore, this structure will enable us, in a near future, to provide job opportunities in an independent and non-commercial activity. And this is something the international environment in the Netherlands desperately needs. From our part, we want to ensure maximum of transparency within the management of financial support for our editors and the daily commitment in producing high-quality information, free from all ties.
And we want you to be part of it.
Founder and Editor in Chief of +31mag.nl
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