Letter from the Editors

You know you’ve read a good piece of journalism when a writer takes you on someone else’s journey and relates their experiences to you, bringing you closer to another world, perhaps opening your eyes in ways you didn’t expect.

It’s not always the physical distance but also the cultural distance that good journalists are able to bridge.

You’ll find in this month’s edition of Contributoria that the journalists selected by the community to write brought us all closer to places and issues that seemed really far away even by today’s standards.

Andrea Cesaro and Joris Leverink captured this beautifully in their article, Kalashnikovs and cameras on the road to Syrian freedom. The two young Syrian men they interviewed had strong views on the best path to peace and freedom for themselves, their families and their countries based on harsh experiences they both lived through. However, their opposing ideologies didn’t stop them from working together in a refugee center in Istanbul.

As much as violent conflicts incites hatred and xenophobia, it just as much facilitates the creation of unlikely alliances and the formation of uncommon friendships.

From challenges with tourism in Iran to revolutionary street art in Mexico, Contributoria journalists demonstrated many misunderstandings brought about by people’s differences both between and within cultures.

Similarly, Michael Ertl gave voice to the child workers in Bolivia who have set up their own trade union. And Naomi Klein shared some insights in her interview with Liam Barrington-Bush on what awaits us if we break free of the cycle of consumerism that traps us.

The art of life was also a common theme this month as Julie Schwietert Collazo demonstrated in her article about the great American gardens and the women who designed them. And Jon Bounds went on a search for answers to some of the world’s most elusive questions in, Who makes the best cup of tea: George Orwell or Douglas Adams?

These are just some of the articles backed by the community for this issue. In total there were 87 articles proposed, and 56 articles successfully reached their target. We paid over £20,000 directly to writers for their contributions. And we had a record number of 727 collaborators joining in the process here.

While those figures are brilliant, we were thrilled to welcome so many new members this month who are helping us grow the funding pool to support the quality journalism happening via this new platform.

On behalf of all the writers, thank you for your patronage. And don’t be shy about sharing what’s happening here with people you know who also care about quality independent journalism. Everyone is welcome to become a member and make a difference.

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