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Brooklyn, N.Y. — The OptOut Media Foundation, a nonprofit charity and tech startup, released its news aggregation app for iPhone and iPad on the Apple Store today.

Founded by reporters Alex Kotch and Walker Bragman in August 2020, OptOut worked with the Progressive Coders Network to develop a sophisticated news app that distributes articles, podcasts, and videos from a network of over 120 financially independent media outlets. OptOut is developing an Android version of the app, which will be released in beta on the Google Play Store in the second quarter of 2022.

“We’re thrilled to introduce our unique news app to the world today,” said Kotch, executive director of the OptOut Media Foundation and an award-winning investigative reporter whose work has been published by dozens of outlets including The Guardian, The Nation, and Vice. “In OptOut, news consumers have an ecosystem that they can trust is completely independent, free from the corporate and legacy media bias that can distort public understanding of current events.”

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“This is the culmination of over 18 months of hard, mostly volunteer work,” continued Kotch. “I will be eternally grateful for the talent, passion, and generosity of our development, administrative, and editorial teams.”

The foundation and app are run by journalists who understand the public’s need for uncompromising, trustworthy media. Experienced reporters and editors, not algorithms, curate the news feed. Users can access articles, podcast episodes, and videos, including livestreams, and personalize their news experience by following outlets and individual journalists.

Participating outlets are selected for the app based on financial independence, editorial focus, and other factors. The newsrooms range from small Substack newsletters to independent media pillars such as The American Prospect, In These Times, and Jacobin, podcasts including Citations Needed and Means Morning News, and video channels such as Democracy at Work, The Humanist Report, and Tim Black TV.

“Corporate and legacy media outlets dominate our discourse,” said Kotch. “For excellent independent news producers in the U.S. to truly break through into the national conversation, we need to come together and work as allies. Now we have a large and growing network and a news app to distribute our coverage. Together we’ll work towards OptOut’s mission to educate the public and help sustain a diverse media environment.”

“Through this project we hope to facilitate the growth of independent media, which are essential to a healthy democracy,” said Bragman, a reporter for The Daily Poster. “Bringing smaller outlets together will allow them to better compete in a media landscape controlled by a handful of behemoths.”

“On the OptOut app, users can choose from a wealth of independent news outlets,” said media pioneer Maria Bustillos, the founder of Popula and The Brick House Cooperative and an OptOut Media Foundation board member. “They may find much to like or disagree with, but what they won't find is corporate stenography, false equivalence, or softball interviews with dictators. Corporate media are failing to provide readers with an accurate picture of events, so this invaluable project couldn't come at a better time.”

Kotch and the OptOut team are available for interviews.

The OptOut Media Foundation (EIN: 85-2348079) is a progressive 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.

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Progressive Coders Network is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit community of activists who build open source tools to empower the grassroots, get money out of politics, and dismantle systems of oppression.