June 28, 2020 (Updated )
Today is our fourth birthday. Sadly, we don’t have the beautifully iced cupcakes above – much like most of my other lockdown plans, celebratory baking has been left in the same pile as my unfinished jigsaws and online courses. However, it is still four years to the day that I rage-registered this domain on the internet.
When I started out on this project, I had no idea we’d still be here four years on – for the most part still talking about the same things. But it turns out it takes a bit longer than you think to change the foundations of an industry. I had even less idea I’d be writing this post several months into a worldwide pandemic.
Despite all this though, we’re here to stay, and our fourth birthday seems like a good time to reveal some plans we’ve had in the making for a while. Every day this week we’ll be making a new (and hopefully exciting) announcement. But, before we do, I also wanted to use this space to say thank you to you as well.
Like many media companies, we’ve been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, as most of our funding previously came from job adverts and event bookings. In short, it was our readers and users who have saved us. In fact, I’d probably go as far to say we’re well on our way to becoming a reader funded publication.
Everything we do will always be free to access, otherwise it won’t reach the people who need it most, but now more than ever, we’re so incredibly grateful for our supporters, whose regular donations make what we do possible. We hope we’re doing you all proud – and we’re excited to reveal our latest plans over the next week.
A Preview Of Our (Virtual) Party Week
I’ve always been a fan of dragging birthday’s out for a whole week, so all this week we’ll be revealing our plans for the coming year, with a new announcement every day. But seeing as you made it this far, we thought it was only fair to give you a bit of a sneak preview on some of them. We’ll be publishing full details on each of these updates (as well as a fair few others) on our website and across our social media channels all this week, so stay tuned and bring your best party gear.
The Journo Resources Fellowship Scheme
This is perhaps the one we’re most excited about. The Journo Resources Fellowship will be open to people making their first steps in the journalism industry across the UK, with a focus on finding a diverse range of voices. It will offer a huge array of free training resources, one-to-one mentorship, and a structured programme to create original, solutions-journalism focused features for our advice section. And, yes, of course this is a paid opportunity.
A Formal Supporters’ Programme With New Benefits
During the past three months we’ve been overwhelmed with the support from our readers – and realised we need to do slightly better than a link to our very rarely updated Ko-fi page. We’ll be revealing our new and shiny supporters programme this week, with a whole range of new benefits, we hope you’ll find useful, as well as revealing our goals to keep the site running in the long term.
New Resources For Freelance Journalists
You may have seen our recent revamp of our salaries section and we’re almost ready to roll with some similar launches for our freelance resources. Especially in a world of increased lay-offs and furlough, we know it’s even more important to support freelance journalists – especially those who have just joined the self-employed club. Think spreadsheets, think transparent pay, think all of the good things.