These days, major media sources have too many ties with people and organizations that want to influence what’s reported—think billionaire owners, mega-corporations, and big-money advertisers. Even our so-called public radio and TV are compromised by their dependency on funding from corporations, foundations, and government. And while there are thousands of excellent independent bloggers and citizen reporters out there, it’s not easy to find and identify the “good ones” and keep up with them all.
For everyone who has been dreaming of a major independent media platform that’s free from the compromises and partisan agendas that come with a reliance on corporate advertisers and a dependency on the ultra-rich, that dream is about to be a reality. Newsbud—Where Media Integrity Matters.
Newsbud will be a truly independent alternative because it will be one-hundred percent people funded. Plus, while it will share a similar spirit with the bloggers and citizen reporters, Newsbud will have the resources and staffing to make it an easily accessed center stage for high-quality, independent reporting.
Headed up by award-winning activist, publisher, and author, Sibel Edmonds, in partnership with a network of seasoned and international producers, editors, and independent investigative journalists, Newsbud will offer original stories and investigative reports, video-podcast productions, editorials, and discussion forums.
Newsbud will be a news and multimedia network unlike anything else online, in print, or on TV. It will offer all of the elements people expect from a large news organization and also utilize social media, a mobile app (news alerts, etc.), and other Internet platforms.
All Newsbud reports and multimedia productions will be entirely independent and nonpartisan and will be developed, written, produced, and vetted by our staff, who will be paid with funding from the public.
Except for special forums and roundtable discussions, all Newsbud contents will be free to the public. For those who want access to all of the site’s contents, the subscription fee will be $12 per year. A monthly payment option of $2 per month ($24 per year) will also be available.
Our objective is to have 50,000 subscribers by the end of year one. Assuming a $12 annual subscription, 50,000 subscribers equates to $550,000 (50,000 X $11 [annual subscription fee minus credit card processing fee]). We’d supplement that amount with two annual fundraising events. Our goal for the end of year two is to expand our subscriber base to 75,000. That would equate to $825,000, which would be enough to support Newsbud’s annual operations. Every dollar we receive that exceeds our goal will go to funding further content, expanded program offerings, additional journalists, etc.
We will operate 24 X 7 and deliver:
- Headline news (updated hourly, weekdays, 5 days per week)
- Original investigative stories (2 to 3 per week)
- Evening News (weekdays, 5 days per week)—a 30-minute news show covering significant news stories and one feature story every weekday evening
- Analysis videos (daily)—providing analysis and multiple perspectives on several of the day’s stories
- Podcast shows (daily)—featuring in-depth discussions and analyses with expert guests
- Editorials and analyses (daily)
- Original editorial cartoons (2 to 3 per week, weekdays)
- Live chat with VIP guests (weekly)
- Discussion forums—24/7 monitored and managed public discussions and activism
- Roundtable political discussions (video, every Sunday)
- Book and film reviews
- And more
For a society to be responsible and empowered, it must first be informed. News media, as our primary source of information, should be the number one force for transparency and accountability. But this can only happen when reporters and media sources aren’t accountable to powerful people with vested interests in the stories being told.
For a decade and a half, Newsbud’s founder, Sibel Edmonds, has been fighting for the public’s right to know. From whistleblowing while working as an FBI interpreter and years of leading congressional investigations, to forming the first and only National Security Whistleblowers Coalition and establishing an independent online information forum, her life’s mission has been to create an informed citizenry.
It’s time to stand up for our right to be informed and to establish an empowering, publicly funded media network that is accountable only to its viewers and to the truth.
How You Can Help
To launch what we believe will be the first truly independent and agenda-free major media network, we need to raise a minimum of $950,000 in under 60 days. To help accomplish this, you can pledge anything, from the cost of a cup of coffee to a $10,000 sponsorship.
Your help will enable us to set-up and begin operation by September 15, 2016. Your pledges will fund the following:
1. Web Development, IT & Recording Studio (hardware/software & furniture): $95K
2. HQ Office, Travel Budget, Logistics & Services (insurance, payroll, tax): $135K
3. Hire First-Tier Staff: a. Investigative journalists, analysts, producers & columnists (6 full time & 6 part time): $365K; b. Editors and technical, managerial & support staff (4 full time & 3 part time): $230K
Estimated total for set-up and one year of operation: $825K
After we are up and running, subscriber fees will enable us to continue operating year after year—even as we allow non-subscribers to view the bulk of our site’s content for free.
Our funding goal of $950K is the absolute minimum amount required to accomplish our objectives. We have slimmed down our start-up costs to one-hundredth of what online news networks typically spend, and we’ve done so without skimping on quality. Our journalists, producers, and columnists are world-class talents, known for their integrity, professionalism, knowledge, experience, and track record. We have already identified and enlisted our first-tier team members and have shared their bios below. If we exceed our funding goal, we’ll be able to bring on additional journalists, producers, content, shows and more.
We’d love you to support our effort with a pledge. We also need your help to spread the word about Newsbud and activate others. Sharing on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, YouTube, and other networks will be critical to the success of our collective dream.
Without you, we cannot build the independent news source that we the people deserve. We can only do that when we are 100% publicly funded, and that means we need you, your voice, and your commitment to our cause.
Who We Are
Meet our stellar team of internationally recognized journalists, producers, and analysts:
Sibel Edmonds, Founder & Editor-in-Chief
Sibel Edmonds is editor and publisher of BFP Report, founder and president of the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition (NSWBC), and author of the acclaimed books Classified Woman: The Sibel Edmonds Story, and The Lone Gladio, a political spy thriller. She is the recipient of the 2006 PEN/Newman’s Own First Amendment Award. Ms. Edmonds is a certified linguist, fluent in four languages, and has an M.A. in public policy from George Mason University and a B.A. in criminal justice and psychology from George Washington University.
Peter B. Collins, Sr. Producer (News Desk) is a San Francisco based radio producer and talk show host with over three decades of experience in the field.
Bill Conroy, Sr. Editor & Investigative Journalist (National Coverage) is an investigative journalist with decades of experience and renown for his coverage of the Drug War.
Pepe Escobar, Sr. Correspondent & Analyst (International Coverage) is an investigative journalist and geopolitical analyst with over 30 years of experience as a foreign correspondent.
Paul Jamiol, Editorial Cartoonist has been cartooning for over 40 years and has won multiple state, regional, and national press association awards for his work.
Professor Filip Kovacevic, Sr. Analyst (The Balkans & Russia) is a Montenegrin geopolitical author who currently teaches at the University of San Francisco.
Guillermo Jimenez, Senior Producer & Author (Newsbud Podcast & Editorials) is a writer and podcast producer based in Austin, Texas with years of experience working as an editor, translator, and columnist at various publications.
Pearse Redmond, Producer & Columnist is an independent researcher, podcast producer, and host of Porkins Policy Radio who hails from New York City.
Tom Secker (Book & Film Reviews) is a researcher, writer, and producer based in North Yorkshire who specializes in the intelligence agencies.
Christoph Germann, Sr. Analyst (Central Asia & Caucasus) is an independent analyst and researcher based in Germany. He has published numerous articles and runs a blog.
Spiro Skouras, Sr. Producer (News Desk) is an independent producer and analyst, a co-host on Real Talk Live, and runs a popular YouTube channel.
Katie Aguilera, Sr. Columnist & Researcher is an independent researcher, author, and activist who resides in Oregon and writes at the blog Seeking Redress.
Christian Sorensen, Senior Researcher & Analyst (MIC Reports) is an independent writer and Arabic translator whose research focuses on U.S. weapon procurement and war profiteering.