During the New York City pandemic lockdowns during the spring of 2020, Walker and I had an idea. In order to compete with the corporate and legacy media giants, uncompromising independent media outlets need to come together. We thought that a news aggregation app for exclusively indy publications could shift the balance in the news environment and educate the public about what really matters.
About a year and a half later, the OptOut app is in public beta (please download the iOS app and test it out!), and we’re running it through a nonprofit charity. We’re so grateful to the many volunteers who have worked with us to craft the app, the 115 news outlets that have joined this project, and to you, readers, for following our network and funding our efforts. But we have a lot more work to do.
In order to succeed as a nonprofit charity that effectively elevates independent media, we really need your help. We are trying to raise $4,000 today to fund more news curators and marketing for our app, which is essential to its success.
What we’re doing at OptOut is truly innovative. As far as we know, we’re the only news aggregation app run by a nonprofit charity. We’re the only one that's led by journalists, not tech entrepreneurs who care more about money than serving the public. We’re the only one with exclusively hand-curated content, not algorithms. We’ve got no ads. And we promote work by outlets that the other media apps haven't even heard of yet. For a year and a half, we've been scouring the internet for the sharpest financially independent publications, large and small, and now have a broad network of excellent, trustworthy news producers.
Our tech is innovative as well. The talented developers at the Progressive Coders Network have created a clean, sophisticated product that seamlessly integrates articles, podcasts, and videos, including livestreams. A media veteran who has developed news apps recently told me they'd never seen an app that works with audio and video so smoothly.
We are doing this because we are a progressive nonprofit that supports daring, independent news outlets and journalists, and wants to make change in society by distributing stories about the people and issues that are left out of or mischaracterized by corporate and legacy outlets.
Here is our request on Giving Tuesday: Our email list is a bit over 4,000 people, and we have roughly 130 recurring donors. Others have made one-time donations as well.
If just 40 more of you (1% of this list) could commit to giving $55/year, we will surpass our goal of raising $4,000 today. All of your donations are tax-deductible. If you can’t do $55/year but can swing $5/month, that will help us, too!
If you are able to make a one-time donation, that would also be incredibly helpful. If only 40 of you can make a donation of $50 dollars today, we will reach our Giving Tuesday goal and be able to hire more news curators and market the app as we near the Apple Store launch.
Be sure to check if your employer will match your gift to the OptOut Media Foundation (EIN: 852348079). And if you use Amazon, please consider paying through Smile so we receive those donations.