December 2, 2019 (Updated )
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 22 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.
Crack Magazine has always been fiercely independent. The monthly music and culture magazine was founded in Bristol in 2009 by Jake Applebee and Thomas Frost. The team, who are still based in Bristol, bring the likes of Thom Yorke, Grimes, Slow Thai, Charli XCX and Burna Boy to their beautifully shot covers.
Their glossy pages tell diverse stories of over a decade in music, with the latest issue featuring interviews with Sam Wise, Beatrice Dillon, Soccer Mommy, Makaya McCraven and more. The team is also responsible for the curation of Simple Things Festival.
How you can help: The Coronavirus pandemic has caused the cancellation of an obscene amount of festivals and events. This loss has left Crack Magazine in danger of folding. You can keep them alive by becoming a member or buying issues from their archive.
Football crazy, football mad… Mundial Mag is – you guessed it – a football lifestyle magazine. Mundial was only intended to be a one-off magazine to celebrate the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, but its unfaltering understanding of fan culture has kept it going as a quarterly mag.
From interviews to infographics and kit to video games and golden moments, there’s a lot to sink your teeth into. Their latest issue covers 186 things that ‘excite, terrify, and baffle’ them about football.
Mundial is also a creative agency that has worked with big-name brands such as Adidas, Spotify, Nike and Ladbrokes to produce films, fanzines and pop-ups, to name a few.
How you can help: Visit their shop to buy an annual subscription, a single issue or merch. You can also subscribe to Gazzetta, their weekly newsletter that covers football gear and culture, their best articles and the actual weather.
Jessica Howell and Jenna Campbell founded NRTH LASS in 2017 to prove that it really isn’t grim up north. The print magazine is all about promoting talented northern women and proving that you can have a fulfilling career and life outside of the London bubble.
They cover everything from arts and culture, business and start-ups, personal musings and interviews with interesting people.
How you can help: NRTH LASS is fully self-funded, so they can’t afford to pay freelancers for contributions. What you can do is head to one of their stockists to buy the latest issue.
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. They’re confident they’ll survive the pandemic, but as their business model is based on events, they’re in need of a boost.
How you can help: The main thing the team are looking for currently is for new members. You’ll get exclusive goodies and swag, including an excellent weekly newsletter.
You can also purchase their latest Un/Rest magazine from the website, featuring an amazing cover shoot with literary luminaries.
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, artist Greyson Perry, and fashion designer Vivianne Westwood.
How you can help: If you’re in the Norwich area, you can attend Akin’s events – including How To events and workshops for creatives and a regular pop-up shops selling more than 50 independent magazine titles.
They’re also looking to expand online in light of the pandemic. You can also get their print issues and several other publications on their online store, including an amazing surprise bundle.
In the crazy times we live in where everything is ‘prorogue’ this and ‘constitution’ that, the work that EachOther 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.
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!
Ever wondered what culinary magazines Nigella Lawson is recommending? Well, look no further than Pit. With roots in food and fire, Pit initially set out to take a new and in-depth look at the world of fire cooking. Although this remains the case, Pit now covers a wider remit of topics. Each individually-themed issue unearths riveting and niche food stories from around the world through people, traditions, techniques and ingredients.
Pit take the title “independent publication” seriously, making the most of the freedom to do whatever they like. This has included cooking a giant goat shawarma for 30 people in a south London snowstorm and theming whole issues around sausages and MSG.
From writing about why smoke makes food taste so good to in-depth features about the link between sex work, opium and illegal liquor production in Madya Pradesh, Pit exists to “dodge the obvious angle”.
How you can help: You can visit Pit’s online shop to purchase a subscription, or one of their archived issues. There are also some incredibly cool A2 prints that are available to buy.
With a core team of just three people, Happiful Magazine launched in 2017. The key goal: to end mental health stigma. Happiful intends to challenge typical ideas of what a lifestyle magazine could and should talk about and works tirelessly to spotlight important conversations about mental health.
Throughout Happiful’s pages, you can find news and features on a wealth of topics relating to health, wellbeing, and relationships. From advice pieces about navigating fitness without subscribing to diet culture to a beginners guide to herbal teas, Happiful is pushing important conversations about mental health whilst providing practical tips, support, and expert advice to readers.
How to help: You can sign up for a monthly subscription to receive Happiful in print each month, or you can buy single issues from Happiful’s print archive. By purchasing the magazine in print, you are able to support Happiful’s commitment to offering the digital magazine (and app) for free – so those who need it have access.
Aesthetically, SEASON is a hybrid between a football fanzine and a fashion magazine. It was launched in London in 2016 by founder and editor-in-chief Felicia Pennant.
Complete with beautiful artwork, useful guides, and an impressive repertoire of cover stars, SEASON pushes back against what it has termed the “male, pale and sometimes stale state of modern football culture.”
Serviced by an international network of passionate storytellers, SEASON zine Studio also specialises in groundbreaking football, fashion, lifestyle, and community projects.
How you can help: You can buy past issues of SEASON from their online shop, including their most recent issue, Black Joy (they also have some very cool stickers available for just 50p). You can also listen to their podcast on Apple Music or Spotify.
Delayed Gratification is the world’s first “Slow Journalism” magazine – self-credited as being the “Last to Breaking News” since 2011. The magazine is published quarterly and revisits the events of the prior three months to provide readers with in-depth, independent journalism in our ever-fraught world.
The design work is beautiful, and a bookshelf solely displaying issues of Delayed Gratification would be an interior design dream. More than just a pretty cover, however, Delayed Gratification’s encouragement of reflection and perspective is essential in such a fast-paced and often-overwhelming news environment.
How you can help: As well as having the option to subscribe to Delayed Gratification, you can also purchase back issues (including sets), gits (there are mugs!!), and prints through the magazine’s online shop. You can also buy tickets to events and classes run by Delayed Gratification – such as an infographic masterclass.
Firstly, Salty wants you to know that its feminism “is not millenial pink. It’s not brand-safe, snackable, or neatly packaged for retweets.” Fighting for digital visibility for women, trans and non-binary people, Salty works tirelessly to empower marginalised voices, and ensure they are not erased from the internet.
By sharing and promoting unique stories from Salty babes across the globe, the online platform champions inclusivity, diversity, and community. These stories can be found in Salty’s newsletter, on the Salty website, and via Salty’s social media platforms.
In a fight against the “invisible digital forces that prioritise the safety and voices of certain people over others,” Salty’s Algorithmic Bias Research Collective investigates and exposes algorithmic bias against marginalised communities.
How you can help: You can support the running of Salty by becoming a member today. You can also follow Salty on social media, sign up for the free newsletter, and shout about everything Salty stands for.
A “parant”, the urban dictionary says, is a “discussion, topic or rant that parents resonate with. If someone is having a parant, they are either a paranter or are parenting.” In response to the unrealistic and unaffordable lifestyles depicted in glossy, London-centric lifestyle magazines, Paranting Magazine has created a more inclusive platform for parents to parant.
Paranting Magazine has given a voice to LGBTQ+ parents, working-class parents and owners of small businesses, and prioritises space for Black parents and parents of colour.
How you can help: On Paranting Magazine’s online shop, you can choose to buy individual issues of the magazine or you can receive the magazine as part of various bundles. If you wish, you can also donate a sum of your choosing to support the publication.
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.
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 fashion issue they’ve looked at how hip hop took over high fashion and their latest food issues explore urban wineries and tours Tel Aviv.
How you can help: You can explore the full back catalogue here, or treat yourself to a subscription for just £35 a year.
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.
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.
How you can help: You can sign-up to their news club, which means you’ll get every edition here.
The Bristol Cable
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 and pitch stories to them.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.