Colombia Reports has been able to reinstate its comments section after an overwhelming response from readers to our call for support, and that’s not all.
Apart from the subscriptions, we received some of the most heartwarming emails any indie publisher could ever wish for.
Some contributions and emails left me flat-out speechless because I did not expect such loving reactions to what we do.
While I’m already grateful for the contributions and the emails, we’re going to push the drive a bit further to make sure we are able to implement innovations that should improve how we provide you with news.
Colombia Reports’ friends
Some of our readers are “just friends,” contributing $5/month to support our work
Our “good friends” contribute $10/month and receive access to the newsroom hotline for on-demand fact-checking or questions.
Our “best friends” contribute $20/month and have access to both the hotline and our ever-expanding data collection
Last week’s call for support was mainly promoted on Facebook. Throughout this week we’ll be taking on social media platforms Twitter and Linkedin to seek more support.
The Facebook campaign has strengthened us significantly, but not enough to implement innovations we’ve been wanting for ages.
Moreover, I feel boldened in my belief that it is financially viable to have a news website that is not driven by a quest for profit, but this conviction that it is important to inform the public so many journalists have.
To strengthen our editorial integrity, we’ve already banned paid content or “guest posts” as they misguidingly have been dubbed by marketing people.
We have also removed an advertisement position we considered particularly annoying.
Ultimately — but this would probably take years — I hope this voluntary contribution “model” will replace advertisement altogether and make us entirely independent of both government and private sector interests.
At this point, the newsroom will not have to worry about the financial consequences of our reporting if this affects advertisers and we can be 100% committed to serving the interests of our readership, the thing journalism was meant to be about it in first place.
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This would not just be good for Colombia Reports and you, but can provide the know-how to help other independent websites worldwide that are struggling.
This is why this week we’ll be taking the drive to Twitter and Linkedin, hoping more people will subscribe either to support our work, or obtain access to the newsroom hotline and data collection.
Next week, when we’re done being “social,” I will let you know how the campaigns has gone, how this affects our financial viability and which changes you can expect on the website.
But don’t worry, none of these changes will negatively affect our reporting. You have already given us a clear signal that Colombia Reports’ future lies in independent journalism, not in setting up a business.