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Catalyzing worker co-ops & the solidarity economy

The Former Deadspin People on How to Launch a Worker-Owned Media Co-op

For the past five years, the media industry has been on a unionizing spree. This wave of worker empowerment—combined with the industry’s regular waves of layoffs, folding publications, and management shenanigans—have led many people to pine for the next evolution: Worker-owned media co-ops. Easier said than done. But now, the former writers of Deadspin have announced the launch of Defector Media, which will be an honest-to-goodness media co-op owned by the writers and editors themselves. It comes on the heels of a recent flowering of smaller writer-owned newsletters and sites like Discourse Blog, launched by former staffers of Splinter (where I used to work). Has the revolution in media arrived at last? 

Deadspin had millions of loyal readers. Its employees got a ton of press when they resigned en masse last year after company executives (disclosure: the same company where I used to work) tried to limit their editorial freedom. That makes Defector the most high-profile media co-op project yet. It racked up more than 10,000 subscribers on the first day it was announced, an indication that this model may be financially viable after all.

Read the rest at In These Times

 

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