Letter from the editors — July 2015

The theme of the July 2015 issue seemed to fall into a ‘Movement & Migration’ kind of area, and designer Dean Vipond thought the idea of magnetic fields over the Mediterranean conveyed this push-pull dynamic well. It also results in what appears to be fingerprints which resonate with some of the articles that are talking about movement and migration in terms of identity.

Of the many things to sort out when we started Contributoria last year there was one question in particular we weren’t sure about. Would we see challenging reporting, or would writers play it safe?

We knew we could create the environment for people supporting journalism to work as a concept, but it was always going to be up to the writers and the community to bring the difficult topics, the unheard stories, and the hard-hitting investigative reporting that changes people’s minds and exposes wrongdoing.

These more difficult articles have been gaining traction, but it wasn’t until the latest issue here that the community went all-in and tackled some of the world’s biggest problems. And they did so with intelligence and style.

They told stories about refugees and immigrants, slave labor, homelessness, human rights abuses and organised crime. They surfaced stories you wouldn’t normally read in mainstream media about fascinating animal research, political history, and inspiring activists.

The community’s ambitious spirit and passionate coverage of subjects mainstream media fails to surface is what interests the many partners we’ve started working with recently.

We’ll need all the intelligence, style, spirit and passion we can find to meet the challenge posed by our latest partner — Vivienne Westwood.

The British fashion icon, environmentalist and activist is going to guest edit the September issue.

Vivienne Westwood wants writers to cover the dangerous game being played on behalf of the people and our planet by politicians, bankers, corporations and, yes, mainstream media.

As Greenpeace UK director John Sauven wrote via Vivienne Westwood’s Climate Revolution, “We seem to have accepted a simplistic and beguiling mantra: more growth, more profits, more stuff. And, with it, the consequences: more climate change, more chaos, more extinction, more inequality…

Climate change is not about diplomacy or energy or capital or economics. Climate change, like many other important issues, is about power. A new energy system means new power relations.

The Contribuoria community’s job now is to expose this new power dynamic for everyone to see clearly. We’ve posted some topic suggestions to help guide writers’ proposals.

We couldn’t be more proud to work with Vivienne Westwood on the September 2015 issue. After seeing how hard writers are working to cover such difficult stories as they did in the current issue we now know that Contributoria’s flavour of journalism supported by people can take on the biggest and most challenging stories of our time.

Originally published at www.contributoria.com.