FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, March 3, 2023
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Brooklyn, N.Y. — In its biggest news feature yet, the OptOut Media Foundation was featured on Thursday in the publication of Harvard University's Nieman Journalism Lab, a site that "attempt[s] to help journalism figure out its future in an Internet age."
The OptOut Media Foundation and its independent media promotion strategy caught the interest of the renowned hub for journalism analysis earlier this year. Founded in 2020, OptOut has built a network of nearly 200 financially independent, trustworthy news outlets, including well known independent media leaders such as The Nation and The Intercept, up-and-coming digital publications and newsletters such as Prism and Heated, and podcasts and popular YouTube channels such as Citations Needed and The Real News Network. OptOut distributes these newsrooms' content on its original news aggregation app and in a suite of newsletters, all curated by a diverse editorial team.
By bringing together hundreds of the best independent publications in the U.S. and growing its audience with creative marketing, OptOut is positioning itself to compete with the corporate and legacy news giants in the national conversation. Since launching last year, the OptOut News app, which was developed by members of the Progressive Coders Network, has been downloaded more than 15,000 times.
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Reporter Hanaa' Tameez interviewed OptOut co-founder and executive director Alex Kotch about the origins of the nonprofit and the sophisticated news aggregation app it created and operates today.
Kotch highlighted the financial conflicts of interest that plague many corporate and legacy news outlets as they run and even create ads for corporations in industries on which they report, demonstrating how important financial independence is today.
“Politico’s energy podcast has some good stuff, but they’re also sponsored by big oil and gas, and to us that’s just not trustworthy," said Kotch. "Americans’ trust in the media is at an all-time low. We can’t risk having people not trust the news that we’re pushing out. And frankly, we don’t have faith in news that has financial conflicts of interest.”
Kotch made it clear that OptOut isn't a typical news organization or tech startup; it's a nonprofit charity with a clear moral imperative.
"We believe that diversity is incredibly important and that communities of color and other demographics have often been left out of the news and the mainstream news conversation. We want outlets that acknowledge these things."
This year, OptOut is focused on fundraising and redesigning the app as it expands its operations into local, state, and regional U.S. markets as well as into Canada and the United Kingdom.
OptOut's staff and leadership are available for interviews. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with inquiries.
The OptOut Media Foundation (EIN: 85-2348079) is a nonprofit charity with a mission to educate the public about current events and help sustain a diverse media ecosystem by promoting and assisting independent news outlets and, in doing so, advance democracy and social justice.