Since just about our earliest days online, a few other media organizations have stood by us. Most rejected The NewStandard for various reasons. I think a lot of places looked at us and saw no famous or well-connected names, no money, a lack of "sexy" stories or pieces that reaffirmed their favored ideology, too many women and people of color, and they just turned their backs. Many of them to this day refuse to acknowledge our existence.
The people at one media organization that we didn't even know existed got what we do right away. Not only did they make a point of supporting us, they made The NewStandard a central feature of their own work. COA News is a "portal" site that connects people interested in independent news media to sites and groups that produce it. COA stands for Currents of Awareness, and while they generate little of their own content, their primary purpose is to build bridges between people hungry for news, and news outlets hungry for thoughtful audiences. In other words, they're kind of the ultimate alternative-media solidarity organization. Indeed, they're the polar opposite of nearly all alternative media I've encountered in my 13 years doing this kind of work.
Not only did COA News start supporting TNS from our earliest days, but I believe they would do so for any independent media project that comes along. They don't seem to be about pushing any agenda beyond information awareness, and they know awareness is tied to independence.
Like TNS, COA News has long been under-funded, and probably under-appreciated. But we appreciate them enough to make an appeal for financial support on their behalf, to our own readership.
COA is doing something really cool with their new (really first) membership drive. They're placing supporting members on a steering committee that has real say in the direction of the project. And I don't believe it's a token slot; it's the real deal. They want their supporters' input. It seems like a very good opportunity, and a terrific experiment.
They're also giving away some great gifts, including subscriptions to In These Times and YES! magazine, as well as copies of Clamor and Altar.
As Mandy Van Deven of Clamor told us in an interview that ran in the latest TNS Weekend, "we see the successes of other [publications] as a part of our mission." TNS believes that, too. We need a rich landscape of alternative media. Right now, at best, we have a scattering of oddly aligned outlets that rarely support one another.
One of the best ways for us (and you) to support media like TNS is through COA News, which isn't just another outlet -- it is an organziation founded for solidarity. Now they're asking for ours. I make about $1,400 USD a month after taxes, thanks to you all, and despite mounting debt, I'm donating $10 of that each month to keep COA News around. Seems like the least I can do. I hope you'll join me and offer what you can.