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What is openDemocracy?

openDemocracy is an independent global media platform publishing up to 60 articles a week and attracting over 8 million visits per year.

Through reporting and analysis of social and political issues, openDemocracy seeks to educate citizens to challenge power and encourage democratic debate across the world. With human rights as our central guiding focus, and open-mindedness as our method, we ask tough questions about freedom, justice and democracy.

We help those fighting for their rights gain the agency to make their case and to inspire action.


Organisational structure

Established in 2001, openDemocracy is a non-profit federation comprising the Main site and a number of editorially and financially independent Sections.

The Main site is the hub of the organisation, providing the operational and technological infrastructure supporting all Sections, managing Editorial Partnerships and producing about half of the total articles published. With a small central editorial team the Main Site ensures powerful ongoing analysis and debate around key issues of rights, equality and justice.

In addition, the Main Site hosts and develops focused, often time-limited projects around significant issues, including:

Can Europe Make It – analysing the multiple crises across Europe.

North Africa, West Asia – democratic resistance in the Middle East and North Africa.

digitaLiberties – surveillance and human rights in the digital age.

openDemocracy Sections

openDemocracy’s independent Sections support our mission of challenging power and inspiring progressive change in specific priority areas. Our current Sections are:

oDR – on liberty in Russia and Eurasia

Publishing in English and Russian, and covering politics, civil society, human rights and culture in Russia and the former Soviet states. oDR seeks to connect the region  with the rest of the world and to open up a space for arguments censored or left behind.  

50.50 – strategies for inclusive democracy

Critical perspectives on social justice, gender equality and pluralism. International in breadth whilst sensitive to local particularities and heritages, 50.50 gives voice to  women's human rights defenders working on the front line of resistance to  patriarchy, fundamentalisms and other forms of social injustices.

Transformation – where love meets social justice

Telling the stories of those who are combining personal and social change in order to reimagine their societies.  

democraciaAbierta – the ‘Latin’ section of openDemocracy

Publishing in English, Spanish and Portuguese, democraciaAbierta is a global platform for Latin American voices, debating democracy, mobilisation, effective participation, human and civil rights across the continent, Europe and beyond.

openDemocracyUK – on the crisis of democracy in Britain

Questioning and investigating power in the United Kingdom, whether public or secret, cultural or economic, from the perspective of securing and enhancing our shared liberty. openDemocracyUK hosts OurNHS and OurBeeb, unique forums examining two of Britain’s most significant institutions.

Shine A Light – investigative journalism & storytelling

Led by acclaimed investigative reporters Clare Sambrook and Rebecca Omonira-Oyekanmi, Shine A Light exposes injustice, challenges official lying, and provides intelligence and ammunition to people working for policy change. 

Beyond Trafficking and Slavery – challenging empty sensationalism

Beyond Trafficking and Slavery seeks to help those trying to understand forced labour, trafficking and slavery by combining the rigour of academic scholarship with the clarity of journalism. Our goal is to use evidence-based advocacy to unveil the structural political, economic, and social root causes of global exploitation.

Our readers

We are read by people who influence and change the world.

  • – Nearly 40% consider themselves activists
  • – 21% work in drafting policies or influencing policymaking
  • – 21% are writers/journalists

We influence those who read us

  • – 65% said oD helps shape their opinions
  • – 70% had recommended oD to friends and colleagues

  • We are valued as an independent voice filling gaps not covered by other media

  • – Nearly 90% of readers surveyed said they had come across facts or perspectives on oD they had not seen in other media
  • – 71% said they read openDemocracy because it is independent (not controlled by vested interests)

We influence the media

We receive daily information or interview requests from leading global media outlets including BBC, CNN, Al Jazeera, Washington Post, The New York Times, Bloomberg, NPR, Russia Today, The Guardian, Huffington Post, Le Monde Diplomatique, El Mundo, Sky News, ITV, CBC, ABC, Channel4, Islam Channel, USA Today.

We harness the openness of the internet

By publishing with Creative Commons licensing, we extend the reach of our articles far beyond our own website and readership, as they are cross-posted, referenced and translated into other languages.

Our funding

We depend on support from those who appreciate the importance of our work, both individuals and organisations. Please consider supporting us to help oD survive and grow. 

Legal is published by openDemocracy Limited, a UK-registered company (#3855274) limited by guarantee and wholly owned by the non-profit openDemocracy Foundation for the Advancement of Global Education (company limited by guarantee #04807614).

You can support openDemocracy with charitable grants and gifts to the openDemocracy programme of The Open Trust, a UK-registered charity (#1086404).

openDemocracy also works with NEO Philanthropy (NEO) (a registered 501(c)3 organisation) as a US-based fiscal sponsor. In the role of fiscal sponsor, NEO acts as an umbrella organization for a project and accepts and administers funds on its behalf. If you are interested in providing a grant or donation through our fiscal sponsor please email our Head of Finance and Risk Daniel Garay.


openDemocracy's first Editor-in-Chief was its co-founder Anthony Barnett (2001-2007), he was succeeded by Tony Curzon Price  (2007-2012), and then by Magnus Nome (2012-2014). Mary Fitzgerald is the current Editor-in-Chief.

Anthony was also the first Editor, he handed over the editorship to Isabel Hilton (2005-2007), Tony become editor in 2007 and handed over this role to Rosemary Bechler (2010-present).


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