4 days ago

14 Independent Publications You Should Know About – And How You Can Help

Alex Ekong

Editorial Assistant, Journo Resources

We love journalism, naturally. And, by the fact you’re here, we kinda hope you do too. But we’ll be the first to admit, things can sometimes feel like a bit of a state.

One of the main reasons we exist is because journalism is overwhelmingly white, middle class, and incredibly London-centric. It’s certainly not helped by media ownership either,

According to a report by MediaReform.org, just three companies dominate 83 per cent of the national newspaper market. That number goes up to five companies, which dominate nearly 80 per cent of the market, when you include online readers.

It’s fair to say that when you think about who’s behind these companies, we might not be getting the most representative journalism. So, we’ve decided to dedicate this piece to all the indies out there to change that.

Here are 13 of our favourites – and what you can do to make sure they keep on at it. Know any more that aren’t here? Give us a shout on Twitter.

gal-dem

The team took over the Guardian’s Weekend magazine.

gal-dem is making a lot of noise for all the right reasons. They publish stories centering (and written by) women and non-binary people of colour and they’re very good at it.

Since being founded by Liv Little in 2015, they’ve covered everything from politics to music, published four annual print issues and run a takeover of The Guardian’s print magazine.

Now with their own IRL office, they cover everything from news and politics to first-person and life.

How you can help: You can purchase their latest Un/Rest magazine from website, featuring an amazing cover shoot with literary luminaries.

You can also sign up to their newsletter here.

Akin

Alice Daisy Pomfret at the launch of Akin’s second issue.

Norwich-based Akin are an independent bi-monthly magazine and community supporting other independent creatives.

The concept for each issue is the life and work of an influential creative spun out into in-depth articles, revealing interviews, and beautiful photos.

So far, they’ve covered Olympic architect Zara Hadid and artist Greyson Perry.

How you can help: If you’re in the Norwich area, you can attend Akin’s events in the local area – including How To events and workshops for creatives and a regular pop-up shops selling more than 50 independent magazine titles.

You can also get their print issues and several other publications on their online store.

RightsInfo

The RightsInfo home page

In the crazy times we live in where everything is ‘prorogue’ this and ‘constitution’ that, the work that RightsInfo are doing has never been more important.

The four-year-old publication seeks to increase knowledge, understanding and support for human rights in the UK with thought-provoking videos and articles and some absolutely stunning infographics.

They’re a small team, but it’s a pretty impressive array of exclusive work.

How you can help: You can subscribe to one of their two newsletters (one for daily updates and one weekly digest)  or support their office staff by registering to volunteer.

Black Ballad

The Black Ballad homepage.

Mainstream media ‘cares more about avocados than Black women’. That’s Tobi Oredein’s damning indictment of the current state of play – and the reason why she and co-founder Bola Awoniyi decided to create their own space.

For Black British women and by Black British women, Black Ballad elevates their experiences and their voices through content, community and commerce, covering a range of topics that include mental health, beauty, careers, politics, disability, dating and higher education.

How you can help: You can buy a membership which grants you access to the community and all of its stories, content, events and goodies.

Not a black woman? You can purchase a membership for someone as a gift too!

The Overtake

The Overtake team sporting their pretty cool t-shirts.

Leeds-based The Overtake was set up to be “the opposite to the Daily Mail”, with a focus on news which follows you – not the middle-class bubble in London.

Since then, Robyn Vinter and her team have been cranking out some of the finest investigative journalism and long reads you can find on the internet.

There’s everything from the mental torture of IPP sentences and the murky world of wildlife trapping to incredibly touching pieces about friendship and life, like this on how your taste in music can change your relationships.

How you can help: Aside from checking out their Patreon, you can also treat yourself to one of their cool af tees here.

Equally, you can also treat them to something from their Amazon wishlist

Burnt Roti

Burnt Roti on Instagram

Sharan Dhaliwal founded Burnt Roti after years of working all over journalism, with the idea being to give the South Asian community a spotlight to showcase their talent.

There’s an annual print magazine, as well as online pieces and IRL events, with their 2020 festival also coming up.

Special emphasis is given to LGBT+, womxn, mental health, and identity stories.

How you can help: You can support their Patreon, buy their print issues and tell your South Asian friends about Burnt Roti’s database of creatives, whether they create themselves or need someone to help them on a project.

Courier Magazine

The latest edition of Courier.

All this independent media got you wanting to start your own thing? Courier has got your back.

An amazingly beautiful magazine which even uses different types of paper inside, Courier covers modern business in a way that couldn’t be further from what you’d read in the FT.

For example, in their latest fashion issue they’ve looked at how hip hop took over high fashion and have also delved into the industry behind meme culture.

How you can help: You can explore the full back catalogue here, or treat yourself to a subscription for just £35 a year.

Positive News

The Positive News homepage.

Need more positive in your life? Tbf, we probably all do. Step forward Positive News from stage right. Or maybe stage left. Who knows.

It’s not all fluffy, feel good stuff though – Positive News is about constructive journalism, which means rigorous reporting on proposed solutions to social problems.

It’s an inspiring dose of innovative ideas to tackle all of the big problems like climate change, social isolation, and more.

How you can help: You can snag yourself a subscription and get the magazine delivered to the door, or join the crew as a supporter.

Byline Times

A bundle of Byline Times.

Edited by Hardeep Matharu, the team at Byline Times’ mantra is to report what the papers don’t say.

Their core aim is to provide reliable, factual and independent journalism from a wide range of opinions.

Their key focuses include dark money, digital surveillance and extreme populism.

How you can help: You can sign-up to their news club, which means you’ll get every edition here.

The Bristol Cable

The Bristol Cable homepage.

A beacon of local journalism deep in the heart of the South West, The Bristol Cable covers all the moves and shakes happening in Bristol, with the help of it’s 2,000-strong membership.

And, for them, membership is about much more than just handing over your cash – you also get to democratically decide which stories should take precedence.

It’s a perfect mix of investigative journalism and local know-how – even if you don’t live near Bristol.

How you can help: For a monthly contribution, you can join the existing 2,000 members of The Bristol Cable.

The Ferret

The Ferret’s homepage.

The Ferret is both an award-winning investigative journalism platform and an independent journalism co-operative based in Scotland.

The board is made up of supporters and of the participating journalists, meaning they’re not owned by advertisers with big bucks.

As well as their investigative journalism, the team also run a fact check service on the key Scottish issues.

How you can help: Become a paying member or sign up to be part of the Ferret Underground, their free online community.

Macstories

The homepage of MacStories

Apple fans rejoice! Macstories reports on everything lower-case i – from iOS updates to shortcuts and apps you had no idea that you couldn’t live without.

It’s a labour of love run by Frederico Viticci, who works almost entirely from his iPad, and his friends.

How you can help: Sign up for extra content for as little as $5 a month.

The Professional Freelancer

Anna Codrea–Rado’s newsletter goes out every Friday.

Who says you need a printed product or a website to run your own media business? Not Anna Codrea-Rado of The Professional Freelancer.

Her online community is built around a weekly email which provides thoughtful and practical advice on how to work for yourself, as well as interviews, events, and more.

How you can help: You can sign up for extra, fully tax-deductible career development content here.

Journo Resources

Our event at The Telegraph last year.–

Oh hey. It’s us. Hopefully, you’ll already know who we are and what we’re all about by now, but here’s a quick refresher. Journalism is 94 per cent white and 55 per cent male, which is barmy.

To help journalism become more representative of wider society, we’re providing and amplifying free resources and opportunities for  people looking to get a foothold in the industry.

If you’ve yet to have a proper look around yet, why not start with the rest of our advice page, our Insta insights, or our freelance rates page?

How you can help: Sign up to our newsletter, attend our events, tell your friends – and if you’re feeling super generous, you can donate Ko-fi page to try and help us get to £250 a month to cover our costs.

You can also help us get cash completely free using our Easy Fundraising page. Seriously, it’s free.

Image Credit: Jason Briscoe / Unsplash