Article The World We Want

Letter from the Editors

“What kind of world do you want to live in?” This is the question we asked journalists to address for the June Issue, a partnership with the United Nations Development Programme.

In the UN’s MyWorld survey, people ranked a range of issues that would make the world a better place including a good education, better healthcare, honest government, and gender equality, to name a few.

Many Contributoria members addressed these issues and others by asking new questions about our ability as an increasingly urban and globally connected society to see and deal with the world we live in.

Brett Scott wrote a powerful essay on urbanisation. He asked, “in an era of hyper-consuming global metropolises, we face a crucial question with deep consequences: How does one live in the city whilst somehow retaining a grip on ecological reality?”

Karl Hodge considered what food means to society and whether innovative new “meal replacements” such as Soylent could help the 842 million people in the world who are malnourished.

Several writers experimented with the format and approach to reporting, as well.

Danielle Batist spent a day following Sharon who sells The Big Issue in London, a street newspaper sold by homeless people. They co-wrote an article about her typical day highlighting some of the challenges of urban life without a home.

Jon Bounds applies some Chomsky-esque data journalism to his investigation of the UK’s most-watched political TV programme, BBC’s Question Time. Does the media lean to the right more than people realise?

Several Contributoria writers referenced the suffragettes to talk about women’s rights - from young women speaking out for their rights to Tibetan Buddhist nuns seeking equality in their community.

Bernadette Hyland looks at how women are taking grassroots activism more seriously to affect political change. She talks to women who are inspired by the past and want to use campaigns such as the upcoming Peterloo march to wake up the disillusioned electorate.

While the writers for the June Issue were busy working on their articles, we broke all Contributoria records with 47 new proposals for the July Issue. Our community here backed 39 of them worth over £16,000 ($27,000) in total! The theme was “The Changing Value of Money”, a partnership with The Guardian and Activate Summit which is coming to London on 17 July.

On the 1st of every month we clear out the proposal pool and open a new pool. In fact, we’re going wide open this month and encouraging writers to pitch whatever interests them.

The next issue is themeless, so now is your chance to propose that story you’ve always wanted to do but didn’t have an outlet. Contributoria is your outlet.

In case it’s not obvious, we are thrilled with the way things are progressing here. The backed writers are delivering well written high quality reports, and all the members are participating with constructive encouragement and helpful insight.

And, of course, we love paying writers. But we can do more than that.

We have some tricks up our sleeves that will make Contributoria even better soon, so keep an eye out over the coming weeks for some great new additions.

In the meantime, keep contributing!

Matt, Sarah and Dan

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