We started the Salish Sea Gazette in 2018 as a Citizens’ Journalism Cooperative with the aim to provide a venue for thoughtful articles on issues local to the Salish Sea bioregion. Our area of focus is defined by the masthead map, the work of mapmaker Stefan Freelan.
We felt the cooperative form of organization was most appropriate for a site that provides an alternative to the corporate media, whose relevance is diminishing due both to its inability to adapt to technology and its corporatist model of profit above all. This corporatist model also suppresses alternative voices and “unapproved” topics in favor of infotainment and message control (aka propaganda) – making mainstream outlets mostly an insult to the intelligence.
Fundamental to our cooperative is that writers retain copyright to all their articles. We encourage the use of Creative Commons copyright form rather than commercial copyright to encourage sharing of the articles’ content widely, with attribution, on a non-commercial basis. And the cooperative has no editorial positions – the opinions expressed by member-writers are theirs and theirs alone.
We are currently operating entirely on a volunteer basis. Expenses are covered by the members. We feel this is not desirable on a long-term basis – writers who spend their time providing work of value should be compensated, in our view. So as we build the site and our readership, we expect to garner two main sources of revenue: advertising, and reader donations. From these revenue sources, our rule of thumb is that half will pay for the site itself, and half will go to writers.
Our model is that reading articles will always be free to all. However, we want people to comment and add to the public discussion. In order to comment, we have two rules – first, all comments are under the commenter’s real name; and second, all commenters are members of the cooperative. This is why we charge a small nominal fee for new commenter-members to defray the costs of verification and setup. We hope that this will encourage civil debate and discourage flamewars and the need for moderators.
SO thank you for reading. Please do consider joining the cooperative and adding your voice. Remember – we citizens are the government.
This article is copyright by the author under Creative Commons Licence CC BY 3.0 – Share with attribution