ATTENTION! We have an announcement to make

Newslaundry wants to thank all those who believed in us and let you know we have some wonderful investors on board.

ByAbhinandan Sekhri
ATTENTION! We have an announcement to make
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This is a thank-you note. Thank you to our subscribers, our readers, our critics and our viewers. But most of all to our subscribers. You have believed in the mission of Newslaundry. You proved that there are people willing to be a part of a disruption that attempts to create an alternate model for news. And it’s infectious — because you believed in us, others have as well.

We are thrilled to announce Phase 2 of Mission Newslaundry. We have just closed a round of funding and have on board partners (investors for the formal types) in our mission, who have backed us with more than nods of appreciation and pats on our back. They have put money in the bank to help us grow. We are proud to inform you (and thrilled for ourselves) that Omidyar Network, Vikram Lal, Mahesh Murthy, Abhijit Bhandari and Shashank Bhagat (through United India Periodical Pvt Ltd) have invested in Newslaundry (for equity). The thing these investors have in common is an entrepreneurial spirit of not just getting into the game, but changing it. The updated details of our current ownership pattern are here. We will not get into telling you how awesome each of these people and entities are because we’re assuming you know of them already. In case you don’t, google them — and be impressed.  That does not mean all you subscribers who are supporting us are off the hook. On the contrary, we expect more from you now. Read on to know how and why.

We want to create a news critique, news reporting and current affairs platform that pushes the boundaries of investigations, independence, transparency, combativeness and irreverence. We attempt to be fair so that all points of view get a voice. We will bring on colleagues who represent a wide range of ideologies. We don’t believe in “our take” or “our view” on current issues.  Read more about that here. Having made that tall claim, we also recognise that we all have our individual opinions and beliefs that we articulate to the best of our ability in Hafta. The podcast is an exercise in transparency. This voluntary disclosure demonstrates our commitment to independence and diversity within the organisation as well. At Newslaundry — integrity matters. While we do not have the traditional structure of an organisational view that big media is used to — what we do have is an uncompromising position to uphold our freedom of speech and expression. On that we are absolute and unwavering and unless you believe in that, you will find working at Newslaundry difficult. Other than that we embrace all views and ideologies.

What we’re trying to achieve here at Newslaundry is a sustainable and efficient economic model for independent and fearless news. Do not be fooled by what you hear. At present there is none. Most are floundering.  Many are making losses or living on the largesse of patrons with agendas. What we would like to do is help evolve what the model for news will be in the digital age. And you, dear reader, are the most important part of that exercise. You hold the key, to “unlock value” (see we also picked up some catch phrases with all those pitches we made).

So far, Newslaundry has been funded and resourced by our production company. For three years, we have put in our own money because we believe in the necessity of Newslaundry’s mission. Investment coming in does not mean we can now relax. This money means that we have to prove that we can build a sustainable model through subscribers and other creative revenue streams. We cannot do it without your belief in us. We cannot do it without your support.

The news model as it exists now either compromises independence or compromises sustainability. Not because the people in the business are bad or dishonest. They are good people, many of who value independent media, but the model is flawed. All that can change. The Internet throws up all sorts of exciting possibilities and we intend to explore each one and test the limits of tech innovation and collaborative interventions with other independent news bodies, viewers/readers and most importantly our subscribers. You will see us attempt some new systems where our subscribers power our growth and determine the direction in which Newslaundry goes. We will experiment with these devices and interventions, and you, the subscriber, will participate in whether these will work or not. We will never know unless we try. And for that we believe in you. Our subscribers and viewers.

So now we need to expand and compete with big media out there. From a team of 6 we need to grow to 30 or more. We’re looking to fill several posts. Do apply by mailing your resume here. You can see what we’re looking for here.

The idea is to fundamentally alter the model of news media so that many news outfits can prosper, compete, thrive and critique each other to keep us in check, while ensuring we remain loyal only to public interest and nothing else –because when the public pays the public is served. We have an opportunity to turn the news model on its head. Let’s do this. Subscribe here.

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