On February 18 our Editor in Chief, Magnus Nome, launched our public campaign to raise the last £50,000 of a £250,000 target we need to meet by March 31 to keep openDemocracy open.
So where do things stand nearly three weeks on from that call?
Well, to date, we've raised £32,000 of the £50,000 we need to survive. We're incredibly grateful for this tremendous response from our readers, authors, commenters, supporters (many of whom have multiple and varied relationships with openDemocracy, so applying any one category does not do their involvement justice).
As of this morning 350 of you from 24 different countries have given to the campaign. Some of you are already known to us. Others have decided to give anonymously. But we consider all of you great friends and thank you for inspiring us. Those of you who have given email addresses will start receiving our Week in 1 Minute email, written by the front page editor, as a token of appreciation.
It is heartening to receive and read comments that reflect the way that you see openDemocracy - as a public resource, a digital commons, built by all of us who contribute to it and open to anyone who wants to read it:
openDemocracy is an important, trusted on-line news source that carries informed comment - it is a resource we cannot afford to lose.
openDemocracy is a brilliant forum and community of people, demonstrating a deep understanding of the world as it is, while also eloquently illustrating how it could and should be.
And it's clear from what you say that people come to openDemocracy for a richness that they can't find in the mainstream:
I admire your commitment to publishing a range of informed voices from all over the world
I support openDemocracy because, in an increasingly saturated and corporate-dominated media landscape, it offers a critical platform for democratic discussion and debate about the urgent social, economic and political issues of the twenty-first century
openDemocracy is extremely important as it represents reportage and evidence that the establishment media are reluctant to air.
But what you have said to us also suggests that we haven't been doing enough to enter into a dialogue with you about how openDemocracy can be built and what we are trying to do to sustain openDemocracy in the long-term:
What would you like to see oD do in the future? By asking this question -and listening to your readers' answers - not only when you are asking for donations. I wish oD would express a clear position and enter into a dialogue with its readers.
I would like to see a lively debate about how oD can be put on a sustainable financial footing for years to come through grassroots funding. If you can crack that it will serve as a model for bottom-up democratic journalism at a time when much of the traditional media is in its death-throes.
So one of the things we want to come out of this situation, fostered by this blog, is a new, transparent and better back and forth with you our readers and contributors about the behind the scenes operations at openDemocracy and the direction it is going in.
In the meantime what can you do to help us reach our target? We're still not quite there and any more financial support you can give to us will count five times over - by releasing extra funding. If you've already donated, perhaps you can encourage a friend to do so. You can amplify the call for support by tweeting #KeepODopen and liking the campaign updates on the Facebook page. And of course you should keep providing us with your comments, ideas and suggestions – whether on this blog, or if you donate. And once more – thank you!
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