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Brooklyn, N.Y. — The OptOut Media Foundation, a nonprofit charity with a mission to educate the public and help sustain a diverse media ecosystem by promoting trustworthy, independent news content, has hired three experienced journalists to edit news in three key issue areas: climate, LGBTQ+, and New York.

The editors will publish regular newsletters, research and recruit new independent news outlets for the OptOut network, manage Discord communities for journalists to network and collaborate, and curate the OptOut News app.

These issue-based programs add to OptOut's existing offerings, which include a free news aggregation app for iOS and Android and a weekly newsletter rounding up content from around the OptOut network.

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OptOut Climate began in August, when OptOut hired veteran journalist Cristian Salazar.

Salazar is an independent reporter and editor with more than 20 years of experience in journalism. His work has been published by The Associated Press, The Guardian, and Next City, among other publications. He is the former Executive Editor of Gotham Gazette, oversees, and is developing a publication about climate justice. He was born in Mexico and lives in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Climate change is an existential threat to all life on Earth, an urgent issue that much of the news media, including corporate and legacy outlets, have minimized. While climate coverage overall is improving, many of the news giants continue to run, and even create, ads for Big Oil companies that continue to ruin our environment. See OptOut's joint op-ed and video about this unethical practice.

"The climate crisis is one of the most important stories of our time, and no one is covering it better than independent media," said Salazar. "I'm proud to be OptOut's Climate Editor to help bring these stories to more people. When fossil fuel companies have the power to shape corporate media narratives, we need alternative voices to reveal hidden agendas and environmental wrongdoing, especially those that affect communities of color."

Each biweekly newsletter includes Salazar's analysis of climate change news, a roundup of the best independent media coverage on the issue, an original interview with a climate expert or activist, and job and event listings. Climate-focused outlets in the OptOut network include Capital & Main, Drilled, Earth Island Journal, Eos, Grist, HEATED, and High Country News.

Read Salazar's most recent newsletter.

Fighting Climate Destruction • Jackson Water Crisis • Climate Activist Xiye Bastida
The best of independent climate news from the OptOut network.
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Sign up for OptOut Climate and its Discord community for journalists.

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Attacks on LGBTQ+ people in the U.S. have ramped up in recent years, with conservative lawmakers filing bills that reduce their rights and using bigotry to bring out their voters, and with media personalities making an industry out of anti-transgender talking points. For these and many other reasons, we are launching a newsletter that rounds up the best independent reporting and analysis of LGBTQ+ issues.

LGBTQ+ Editor Liana DeMasi (they/she) is a fiction writer and journalist whose work focuses on climate, LGBTQ+ topics, and health, among other subjects. Her reporting and analysis can be found in Atmos, Autostraddle, The Boston Globe, GO Magazine, and other publications. They’re also an MFA Fiction candidate and adjunct lecturer at City College of New York.

"The misinformation being spread about the LGBTQ+ community in the political space and corporate media is causing increasing harm," said DeMasi. "I'm looking forward to disrupting that discourse and providing folks with independent, honest news."

Outlets that cover LGBTQ+ issues in the OptOut network include Atmos, Connecticut Mirror, Counterpunch, Jacobin, Prism, The Buckeye Flame, The Humanist Report, and TransLash.

Read DeMasi's latest LGBTQ+ section in the OptOut general newsletter.

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The best of independent news from the OptOut network.
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Sign up for OptOut LGBTQ+ and its Discord community for journalists.

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The OptOut Media Foundation is based in Brooklyn, New York, and many outlets in our network are also headquartered in New York City and state. That's why we're starting a program for independent New York news!

New York Editor Samira Asma-Sadeque is a Bangladeshi journalist and poet in New York, covering topics including hate speech, immigrant communities, mental health, and sexual violence. Her work appears in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian, HBO, and Al Jazeera, among other platforms. She graduated from Columbia Journalism School and previously published under Samira Sadeque.

"I started in the city six years ago, and I've learned how the realities of New Yorkers vary from block to block, corner to corner," said Asma-Sadeque. "The best part of storytelling about New York is that it'll always be something new, something stranger than the last strange thing, or something that'll give you a visceral reaction (what happens to me when surrounded by NYC pigeons). I am so excited to bring you these stories. My aim for this space is to make it a conversation between myself and our readers, and I hope I'll get to hear from you, too."

New York-focused outlets in the OptOut network include City Limits, Documented, FAQ NYC, Hell Gate, New York Focus, and The City.

Sign up for OptOut New York and its Discord community for journalists.

Asma-Sadeque, DeMasi, and Salazar join OptOut's diverse group of news curators, who select content to highlight in the OptOut News app multiple times per day as part of the app's non-algorithmic structure: Trevor Beaulieu, Walker Bragman, Jacqueline Keeler, Alex Kotch, and Michael Sainato.

"The OptOut Media Foundation is thrilled to launch these three important programs," said Executive Director Kotch. "The climate, LGBTQ+, and New York programs will advance our mission to educate the public about the most important issues with ethical, honest, and independent news content. Cristian, Liana, and Samira are talented writers and innovative thinkers; we're lucky to have them on staff."

To interview Asma-Sadeque, DeMasi, Salazar, or Kotch, email

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.

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