WHY ARE WE CALLED FAIR OBSERVER?
In 1953, American newspapers hailed the CIA-led coup in Iran. In 1956, the Soviet press hailed the crushing of counter-revolutionaries in Hungary. In neither case were voices from Tehran or Budapest heard. This top-down model of world news continues to this day. With less money in media, this phenomenon has gotten worse.
We call ourselves Fair Observer because we believe in fairness. We believe every perspective that is right on the facts and makes a decent argument deserves to be published. The story of the world is too big, too complex and too important to be the monopoly of any one group. The story of the world has to be told by the world itself.
The late Chinua Achebe, a literary giant who lived from 1930 to 2013, once declared, “Until the lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.” Journalism is nothing but history in a hurry, a chronicling of the story of our times. And we need underserved voices from around the world to tell their own stories on the global stage.
WHAT DO WE DO?
We publish content on a daily basis. Our digital media platform has content on issues that really matter to the world, such as environmental challenges or scientific innovations, economic trends or political developments, humanitarian crises or social movements.
We produce a unique 360° series that delves deep into the issues. It places a topic in context and then elicits many views on it. Our premise is that everyone has a bias, and all of us have blindsides, but when we come together, we have a better approximation of the truth.
Fair Observer Education, our sister arm, conducts training programs for young people on subjects such as journalism, digital media, sustainable development and more. In particular, we inspire young people around the world to be more engaged citizens and to participate in a global discourse. In partnership with the United Nations Foundation, we conducted the 2016 Voices of the World Program for over 400 youth across six countries.
WHAT DO WE BELIEVE IN?
We believe in freedom and fairness, diversity and debate and in challenging the status quo. We have courage in our convictions and are defined by our values, which are as follows:
Openness: Anyone can publish content in any form. All we ask is that contributors be right on their facts and make their arguments rigorously.
Democracy: Democracy is not just about voting. It is about basic freedoms, rule of law, protection of minorities, development of institutions and, above all, discourse. We stand for democratizing the global conversation and fostering a new narrative.
Plurality: In an increasingly complex world of over 7 billion people, we celebrate diversity, especially of views. Therefore, we seek divergent viewpoints to help you make sense of the world. We believe everyone has something meaningful to say and invite you to share your perspective. You can join our network of contributors by registering here.
Inquiry: We believe in examining issues instead of chasing headlines. The historic role of what Edmund Burke called the fourth estate — to inform, educate and hold the powerful to account — has largely been abandoned as revenue models for newspapers have disappeared. We have adopted the nonprofit model because we take our role as a member of the fourth estate seriously.
Education: Our goal is to inspire youth and citizens to ask fundamental questions, engage with ideas, explore the world and reflect on the great issues of our times.
WHO READS FAIR OBSERVER?
Business professionals, entrepreneurs, policymakers, academics and students read us. In the US, the majority of our readers are based in New York, Boston, Washington, DC and San Francisco. In Europe, our biggest hubs are London, Berlin, Paris and Brussels. In Asia, our readers are based in cities like New Delhi, Dubai, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong and Singapore.
WHY SHOULD I PUBLISH MY PERSPECTIVE?
Your voice matters. Functioning democracies and healthy societies are characterized by healthy discourse. Discourse depends on people picking up issues they care about, examining them and sharing their perspectives with others.
Of course, you can discuss issues with friends, share posts on Facebook or write a blog. Publishing on our digital media platform is a more thorough and deliberate process. Our editors will help you craft your argument so you can become a better storyteller. Also, our platform will give you access to an interested and engaged global audience that wants to hear what you have to say.
WHO FUNDS US?
We are funded by people like you through donations. We prefer monthly donors but some donate once a year. We believe that 1,000 people donating $10 a month are better than a single person donating $120,000 a year. The more donors we have, the more independent we will be. In brief, we are an independent, citizen-funded nonprofit organization.
We also apply and accept money from foundations with whom our values are aligned. Foundations can support our digital media platform as well as our education programs.
WHY SHOULD I DONATE AND WHERE WILL MY MONEY GO?
Free media cannot run for free. Unlike social media, we are not using your personal information to sell you advertising. Unlike some publications, our content does not hide behind a paywall. Yet servers, images, newsletters and editorial staff cost money.
Your donation will go into paying for operational expenses such as website maintenance, publishing tools and staff salaries. We function frugally, pay modest salaries and use your money wisely.