We don’t get any!

The papers we produce and distribute are funded from our own pockets and the occasional cash donations we’ve been handed when we’ve had stalls at events in the past. The few cash donations we’ve had have been from people who know us well, have trust in what we do and have no desire to exert any editorial influence over us. Obviously, being self funded means we can’t print the number of papers needed to get the wider reach we would love to have. This is the reality of being a grassroots based outfit – a reality we have to adjust to.

However, while we don’t have much in the way of money, the one thing we do have is full editorial independence. Being able to tell it like it is and call truth to power without having for even one second to think about what our funders would say is the most precious gift we can have. While people may not like what we have to say, at least our content hasn’t been bought. When you start to look at the way some self styled ‘independent’ news outfits are funded, questions about how independent they really can be will inevitably come to mind.

B24/7 is part funded by their members. However, they do solicit grants to top up their funding. It has recently come to light that their ‘Climate and Sustainability Editor’ is actually part funded by a grant from the NatWest Bank: Independent? Really? 16.10.22.

Then there’s The Bristol Cable. Again, they receive a fair amount of funding from their members. However, they have other sources of money. They’ve recently been able to fund this initiative: The Bristol Cable wins funding for ‘The Future of Cities’ solutions series. The funding comes from the European Journalism Centre who have received grants from amongst others, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

There’s no such thing as a ‘free’ grant. Money always comes with strings and an agenda attached. How that works is explained in some depth by Paul Cudenec in this piece published on Winter Oak: Controlling the left: the impact edgenda 10.2.21. So when you read what may seem to be an interesting piece of journalism in an ‘independent’ publication, it’s always worth doing a bit of digging into who is funding that and whether there’s an agenda in play.