Bella Caledonia - We Need To Build A Better Model
I'm extremely saddened by Bella Caledonia's closure. Not least because I've contributed to Mike and Kevin's site, but because it provided a constant slew of quality Op-Ed articles that always challenged the stories of the day, the current affairs that irked us, and the non-partisan way it fashioned questions, suggestions - really - with the context of Scottish politics, and quality, pertinent discourse at the forefront of its mind and endeavour.
O but tonight this is this rare for me - I'm actually getting the chance to write. I don't write anymore. I don't feel as if I'm particularly good at it, and to be honest I just don't have the time, but you might notice where I'm blogging: on KILTR. A technology company I've had the pleasure of working with for some 4-5 years now, or so... This is a company that has tried, and tried, AND tried to engage with all the new media sites in Scotland with a view to collaborating on a massive scale - a scalable, collaborative business that could bring all the disparate factions of the Scottish new media community onto one platform with true prospects of building something that could totally challenge our nemesis(s) in the mainstream media. Nemesis may be a strong word for you, but not for me. I see the Scottish overlaps every day, respectfully.
Sure - there are current affairs and disruptive new media sites out there - Wikileaks, obviously - De Correspondent in Holland, and the Conversation are all possibly three examples of sites that have successfully moved forward impartially with their content and are at least sites that I follow. At least. Possibly. Yes.
Now what is it that engenders a small media platform to have a future? Scalability - not crowdfunding. Not donations. As Kevin - the co-founder of Bella suggests below.
The longer our peers and parallels continue to engage with the donations and crowdfunding models then the longer the stress is going to be laid at the door of the true brilliance of what they're actually seasoned to do - reporting, investigative journalism and well written Op-Eds, as at Bella. Their output, essentially, is being inconvenienced with the inhibitions that raising cash is inflicting upon them. It is a waste of their talents, and it is a waste of their precious time.
In the meantime - email me, and let's open new conversations with regard to how we can build a sustainable, thriving new media culture in the country that we love. Or don't. And we can all watch it go to shit. Henceforth this has to transcend our own interests - the micro levels we've all be working on CAN be consolidated and augmented into a whole, something a lot more powerful - greater than the sums of its parts.
I hope, I hope I hope...