openDemocracy: Paying the price of principles

8:45 am - February 22nd 2013

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by Julian Sayarer

openDemocracy is set to close. openDemocracy is set to close unless they can raise the last £30,000 of a £250,000 needed to clear the foundation’s debts.

Frankly, this is important, and whilst hijacked oil tankers and horse meat and bankers’ bonuses are also important, openDemocracy is more important because it is a media by which we can discuss problems in a way that seeks to address them, rather than merely to create real life cinema or high-brow gossip.

I’ve contributed around a half dozen articles to openDemocracy in the last two years… I’ve received £0 in return for my work. Over the years I’ve been paid to write for magazines and journals, and of all the work I’ve produced, it’s that which appears on openDemocracy that means most to me.

oD does not abandon an issue after the 48 hour window in which newspapers seek to profit from it, oD is committed to ideas that mean something to how we live, rather than only the quick titillation of a headline scandal.

oD does not play to the lowest common denominator, and it believes humans are on this world to do more than just buy stuff… it is for these reasons that writers contribute their work for free, and it is for these reasons that oD does not make profit.

If you care about the world you live in, and are not a regular reader of openDemocracy, then start reading. If you want to go on reading openDemocracy, if you have enjoyed the articles I’ve written for them, then pay a little money for it. Our mainstream media resides in the gutter, it assumes the worst in people, tells them the worst about one another, and operates more as a bullshit carousel than as an integral component in a functioning democracy.

You cannot have a high standard of democracy without a high standard of media, and if the mainstream media is to be removed from the gutter, or held to account for its promotion of organised ignorance, we need sources like openDemocracy. As much as anything else, that’s the issue here… there is no other source like openDemocracy.

Ten years after its foundation, with readership rising internationally, oD restructured with new sections, campaigns, and editors to manage the new interest and adapt to a changing world. The organisation’s finances have since been returned to a sustainable footing, with expenses balanced against revenues, but the debts of restructuring must be cleared in order for oD to continue.

You will be paying for media that is not worn-down by cynicism or distracted by hysterics, openDemocracy is written and edited by people who care deeply about the world, and who still have the courage to believe that world can be made better. You cannot put a price on these ideals, but they have to survive.

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Reader comments

Thanks very much Julian for this unsolicited response to the openDemocracy appeal – which is going well. The long version is even better if readers want to see it

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