Who Supports my Work? And the Story of Per Moen – A Norwegian in Moscow!

In the previous post here, I wrote about crowdfunding, and how I support my work. 

So, a question is – why does support my work? Well, I’d like to give you an example. About a year ago, a chap from Norway, called Per Moen, contacted me, with some questions about how things really were in Donbass, Crimea. Per had seen reports on his own media, questioned them, and wanted to know from someone on the ground.

We started chatting, email, social media etc. And, of his own volition, Per, a man in his 60s who made his career first in transport, then in furniture import, now retired, with an interest in horses, railways, his family of course, began contributing to the crowdfunding which supports all my work.

Per contributed to the film Brit in Crimea, and I was delighted that last week he even decided to make his first trip to Russia, to Moscow for the film’s premiere.  It was the first time I’d met Per in person, and I was very happy to see him at the premiere, enjoying watching something he, along with others who support my work – like Per, intelligent people who don’t trust mainstream media anymore, and want to support an alternative – had made possible – see Per at the premiere here – 

Before, and after, Per enjoyed his first ever trip to Russia, and it was interesting to look on Per’s Facebook and see the adventures of one in Russia, Moscow, for the first time!

Here is how Russia was for Per, in his own words, from his Facebook

Resume of my visit to Moscow: I had planned for a couple of years to visit my friends in Moscow and decided to go during 2018. Then I got an invitation to Graham William Phillips film premiere in January and I decided to go. Went to a travel agency, booked hotel and flights then called the Russian embassy and got advice for visa application. I got visa in three days. Brilliant service at the embassy, no problems. Arriving at Moscow airport everything went smoothly through passport control and customs, everybody were very friendly. My friend Elena Tishina collected me at the airport and took me to the hotel and to her home for a fantastic dinner. I have been visiting many big cities and Moscow top the list. So much culture, beautiful buildings. New years and Christmas decorations still up. Exclusive restaurants and big stores. They even have a tourist police which is a branch of the police force especially educated for helping tourists. I had a long chat with two of them. They told me that Moscow is a very calm and safe city. Thanks to my good friends Elena Tishina, Olga Smirnova and Zlata Karlova I experienced famous places like the Red Square, the Kremlin, The Bolshoi Theatre, the old Arbat and more. I am very grateful for being invited by Elena Tishina to the famous international Consert Hall watching an amazing concert. Moscow was a great experience and I wish more people from the west could visit and see how it really is and not only listen and read about Russia in the western anti russian propaganda media. I have never met a more friendly and kind people!

So, that’s an example of who supports my work, and his impressions of a first visit to Russia!

 

My 3 Years of Being a Fully Crowdfunded Journalist!! How’s that Possible? How’s it Been? What Next?

In 2014 while covering Donbass, for the first part I worked with the channel RT – submitting my video material to them. In this time, I had full freedom to film, and upload whatever I saw, to you YouTube channel, which I did, and even in 2014, my priority was to develop this, my own portal. In the later months of 2014, and start of 2015, I did some work for the Russian channel Zvezda, but ended this associated at the start of 2015. And since then? Well, since February 2015, I’ve been a completely crowdfunded correspondent. 

In 2015, I decided to give crowdfunding – still a relatively new concept then – a go while considering all options (earlier, crowdfunding just hadn’t seemed viable). So it was, I worked on in 2015 using a combination of my savings, and some crowdfunding. And I made a few realisations. That crowdfunding is not that easy – everyone has bills to pay, etc, and it’s hard to get people to make their own financial commitment to journalism, when journalism is everywhere, and free. Yet I also realised – it’s do-able. If I live modestly, keep costs down, it’s do-able.

And more, having worked for channels before, and the inevitable constraints that brings, then experiencing the freedom of being completely independent which crowdfunding brings, it became not ‘a’ way to continue my work, but the only way. No one tells you what to do, say, or where to go, all the decisions are your own. Complete freedom, independence. So it was, at the start of 2016, I released this video declaring my future as a fully crowdfunded correspondent – 

Now of course, with this freedom, and possibility, come responsibilities, and challenges. Anyone who makes a donation to my work expects me to fulfil my side of the commitment – to make interesting, original, unique reportage which reach a wide audience, make a difference, make their contribution count. So, I have to always think about how to do this, where to go, and what to film for challenging reportage which couldn’t, or wouldn’t be done by anyone else.

That means monitoring comments, viewing figures on my YouTube channel, and more. Making sure there is always fresh content, from at times unexpected places, but always actual, relevant. I don’t always get it right, at times in these three years I’ve missed the mark. But, I’ve learned from these times, and when it’s hit home, it’s hit home – my reportage from Crimea, in English, undisputed number 1 on YouTube in 2017, for example.

3 years on, almost 3000 videos on my YouTube channel, over 60 million views, references in media all over the world. Reportage on everything from Brexit to immigration in Germany (that, over 1 million hits). the jungle in Calais, places as diverse as Daugavpils in LatviaBelval in Luxembourg. Of course, Donbass, Crimea, and mainland Russia. And more – recently, South Ossetia – 

Special reportage, films, more, for 3 years, all completely independent. Not supported by any company, organisation, or corporation. Supported by people like you, reading this, who want to keep independent journalism alive. From my side? Well, crowdfunding does not bring riches, have a look for yourself, and that’s the point, it’s not about money at all. It’s about truthful journalism, reportage of things as they are, showing things as they are, exposing propaganda for what it is.

And it’s not about being on the mainstream channels either – they’d never have it. It’s about putting truthful reports out there in the public domain easily findable, so anyone who wants to find them, can!

And thanks to you, in the 3 years, I’ve raised enough to finance my work.  The 3 years have brought success, world-watched, world changing reportage. But the best is still to come – better reportage, better films, bigger projects. And all thanks to those people who want to make their own contribution, of whatever size, to helping truth win, in the world of information war we live in.

To support my work, simply click here. 

Why the BBC Have Come After Me…

The UK’s position on the Ukraine situation has been becoming increasingly aggressive:

The imprisonment of Ben Stimson:

https://thetruthspeaker.co/2017/07/18/rank-injustice-hypocrisy-in-the-uk-the-case-of-ben-stimson-and-chris-garrett/

Increasing their support of the Ukrainian military: 

https://thetruthspeaker.co/2017/07/21/united-kingdom-steps-up-support-of-ukrainian-army-still-shelling-civilians/

The case of Ben Stimson was a link up between the BBC and the UK government, with the BBC stitching Ben up – 

… and the government locking him up. 

That was the 11th, on the 17th, I got this email from the BBC (screenshots pictured).

Hi Graham,

My name’s Sam Bright – I work for the BBC in London.

I’m currently writing a story for BBC Trending about the work of individuals such as Patrick Lancaster, Russell Bentley and yourself in eastern Ukraine.

We would obviously be interested in speaking to you for this story, to hear your views. We would like to ask you generally about your experiences, and about how you use the internet to fund your work and spread your message.

Let me know if this would be possible. I look forward to hearing from you.

Many thanks,

Sam Bright

I replied:

Sam,

No offence to you personally, as I don’t know you, and you may be a nice guy, but the BBC are a shower of despicable, disgraceful, disgraced propagandists, not to be trusted in any circumstances. And so my response would be something like: shame on you bunch of lying, propagandising scoundrels for bringing journalism into disrepute, and my country into disrepute. Where are your morals, ethics, or integrity? How can you be so entirely dishonest in your coverage, and reportage? It’s rank deceit.

The BBC is fake news, outright lies, and I’m having absolutely no part of your odious operation, in any way. Actually, you disgust me. I always work to report the truth – that means I work against the BBC, who work to twist, and distort the truth, at every turn.

I think that covers it for now,

Graham

On the 20th, Sam replied: 

Hi Graham,

We’re planning to run a story on the BBC News website about your crowdfunding and activities in eastern Ukraine.

Specifically we’re reporting that since November 2013, you have been covering the conflict and that you were formerly employed by Zvezda. We are reporting that you have been banned from entering Ukraine on the grounds of national security and that the Ukrainian government has issued an open letter to the UK authorities condemning your activities.

We are also noting that you say you have financed your activities entirely through crowdfunding from January 2016, and that you have raised roughly £7,000 through crowdfunding websites since that time.

We are reporting that you have frequently travelled to Donbass, despite your travel ban. We are also noting that the site JustGiving removed one of your appeals in July 2015, because of your defiance of the travel ban. We are reporting that you have been filmed navigating a drone with the help of soldiers in Donbass and have interviewed Ukrainian prisoners of war.

If you have any comment on the above or would like to reconsider the possibility of an interview, please let me know.

Sam Bright
Reporter | BBC

So, it’s clear what line the BBC are going to take – that I ‘worked for Russian military tv channel Zvezda‘ – I did, briefly, at the end of 2014, start of 15. They gave me freedom as a correspondent (pictured in a Zvezda piece), I did my own thing, sent my pieces to them, had contact only with producers there, like any channel. Yet, still, I made the decision to end my working arrangement with them, and since March 2015, have been fully independent, worked only for myself.

Will the BBC cover this? They will, but they are clearly going to make out that I’ve only raised £7000 via crowdfunding, clearly that doesn’t cover costs, there must be some sort of shadowy, Russian sponsor etc…. the truth is much more prosaic, that I’ve raised a bit more via my Paypal, and individual donations, but actually I live modestly, and yeah, it is a sometimes a struggle to get by. But, that’s the life I’ve chosen, and I accept it.

Be sure that the BBC journalist penning the hatchet piece about me from an office in London is surely earning much more than myself, and will make no mention that I’ve sacrificed an apartment in Odessa, any number of material comforts offered by working for channels, to go it alone, and dedicate my life to reporting the truth. There will be nothing about the hundreds of videos I’ve made giving those in Donbass a voice, being first at the scene where no other western correspondents were, the many documentary films

No, it’s going to be that I’ve frequently ‘returned to Donbass while being banned from there’, that I’m some sort of a ‘risk to Ukrainian national security’, and the flying a drone with the help of soldiers, interviewing Ukrainian prisoners of war. As for the drone, I did fly that with members of the people’s militia around, and they could hardly not be, given that it was positions. And indeed, as I’ve been completely open about, as with everything – they advised me on where would be most interesting to fly it. And, really, so what?

And the interviewing Ukrainian prisoners of war – sure, I’ve done that a lot of times. But, Ukrainian forces have taken me captive twice, interviewed me at gunpoint, put a bag over my head for a day, kept me in a darkened room without food or water.  Not to mention stolen a great deal of my possessions. So, I earned my right to interview Ukrainian POWs the hard way, and actually, I always stay within reasonable boundaries.

But, all of that will be put forward to make me out to be some sort of a bad guy. No mention of the tens of thousands I’ve raised for humanitarian work in Donbass, the ongoing support of the children’s home in Lutugino, for example. And the rest, that I’m some sort of Russian spy, propagandist etc. Not mentioning that I’ve often spoken of not liking the RT channel, after how they treated me, and ended my own contract with Zvezda. And am, of course, British, with no connection at all to Russia, other than that it’s a country I’m interested in, like, like doing reportage from – as others, Serbia, for example.

So, why did I refuse to speak to the BBC, as some have asked? Because the story they have decided to write is pre-determined. Anything I say to them would only be turned around and used against me, and more, I would be complicit, thus compromised, in their hit piece on me, which all leads to the question – why are they doing it?

Clearly, the BBC have been tasked to do a hit piece on me, to set public opinion against me, so that if the UK government do try to take steps against me, there won’t be any public uproar, or outcry – as there wasn’t with Ben.

But, it’s a clumsy attempt from them, and it’s not going to work. However the fact they even tried it shows which way the wind is blowing in the UK.

I replied to Sam:

Samuel, again, this is not personal because I don’t know you, but the BBC are not to be trusted in any way. I’ve seen many times the deceit, and propaganda the BBC have, and do, perpetuate.

I’m not going to be any part of it.

So, it’s a no, and will always be that way. It is your right to reprint parts of these emails I have sent you. But, that’s it. I stand for honest, truthful journalism, of integrity. The BBC is fake news, lies, propaganda.

Regards, Graham

So, it’s their move now. But, I’m ready for them. Bring it on!

Graham Phillips: How to Support My Work

graham-phillips-journalist-1Graham Phillips

My work is 100% crowdfunded. To be involved, you can either make a contribution here: 

https://www.paypal.me/grahamwphillips

From my side, if you support my work, I’ll be in contact with you, send you unique souvenirs, give you special mentions in my work, do as much as I can to show my gratitude for your support, which keeps my independent journalism alive.

Huge thanks for being involved in my work! Graham

A Channel’s Correspondent to a Crowdfunded Correspondent

Graham Phillips

Sometimes the question comes up ‘how did you go from working for tv channels, to working through crowdfunding?’ So, here we go. In the past few days, I’ve got a few things off my chest, particularly in relation to the channel RT, for whom I started working as a tv correspondent, over 2 years ago, in Donbass.

Why did I, from Great Britain, go to work for Russian media? Well, Euromaidan (pictured) Euromaidansaw the shattering of all my, what turned out to be, illusions about media. When you’ve stood on a street and witnessed chaos, mess, terrorism, yet see it on BBC, CNN, depicted as a ‘revolution of dignity’ etc, masks slip pretty quickly.

There are no objective news channels at all. Every channel has an angle, agenda.

It so happened, that on Euromaidan, Crimea, and Donbass, the angle, agenda of the Russian channels was much more truthful than that of the western media. Not completely objective, no, but no media is. We live in an age where every channel or newspaper is owned, either overtly or not, by corporations, businesses, states. BBC, for example, governed by a BBC Trust comprising several members with connections to big business, including Roger Carr, chairman of defence contractor BAE systems, with lucrative arms contracts across the
world. 
 The famously ‘independent’ Guardian, owned by the Guardian Media Graham RTGroup, with its famously secret ‘externally managed investment fund’. 

RT, famously owned by the Russian state. So, what’s it like working for them, what are the terms? They offered me $300 a day to to a week’s work reporting in Donetsk back when things were kicking off there in April 2014. That may sound like a reasonable amount, but you have to stay somewhere, it was hotels back then, and, when it got to Slavyansk, my agreement with RT extending beyond a week, but not every day, it was necessary to get a fixer too. I had to take care of all of this, and getting expenses back was always a struggle, on not one occasion finding myself questioned about receipts for taxi fares for a few pounds.

Also, it’s hard work. When you are on a day’s shift, you are ‘on call’, and RT called, all the time. There would be several producers on shift at any time, and it seemed to be the thing to do to regularly call correspondents. I found this initially frustrating going up to really pretty irritating, as here –

– as I was always running about trying to film things, the phone would frequently be going off during this. But then, new to it all, perhaps I’d simply misread the role of correspondent for a channel. I wanted, in an erupting war situation as it was, with things flaring up all over the place, literally all the time, to be chasing
all the stories, filming all the action. RT mostly wanted me to be in the quiet centre of Slavyansk doing link ups to satellite camera. I didn’t see the point of this, standing in a calm street while things were flaring up all around.

Then, RT would want to send me places, having ‘hot tips’ of action somewhere. Sometimes they were hot tips, other times stone cold. They were a bit obsessed at Graham Phillips Luganskthe time with all sorts of things supposedly going on in Izyum, so kept sending me there, to no real result, but in fairness got it bang on with the Lugansk uprisings of the end of April (pictured).

Now, I’ve written about not wanting anything to do with RT, not liking working for the channel, and that’s true. But I don’t echo the sentiments of other former RT correspondents out of terms with the channel in respect of being told what to say, report etc. I had a free reign, would record and report what I saw. There would be times when RT wouldn’t use all the material I’d send them, or may select parts for edit, but in any case I’d upload all the material onto my YouTube channel, they knew I did that, there were no restrictions on that. RT did, on occasion, tell me about preferred terminology, but I honestly didn’t pay too much attention to that, and it was never an issue.

I would say this – it was hard work. When RT knew you were on a working day, they knew you were on a working day. There were times I’d get back to the hotel after being on my feet filming the whole day, shattered. Then there’d be a call ‘we
Fullscreen capture 09062016 100803.bmpneed you to do a Skype interview’. I’d do the Skype interview, be preparing to hit the hay, another call, another, and so on. Other times, called out on the street late at night for a satellite link up. But again, this isn’t a beef, being a correspondent on the ground when the ground is as active as it was in Donbass back then, is always going to be hard work, and there’s an adrenalin which powers you through.

The reason for my discord with RT is simply, when I’d do a story which got some heat, it was all ‘RT’s Graham Phillips’ and so, but when I was ever in a position of needing RT’s support, on the field, they would as a first option, throw me under the bus.

My employment with RT ended after my 2nd deportation from Ukraine, in July of 2014. Now, I fully accept they’d told me not to go to Donetsk airport during battle, but I went, got taken captive, many of my possessions, including car, stolen by Graham Phillips deportedUkrainian forces. I got released, deported into Poland, called by as it seemed everyone at RT, congratulating me on release, saying they’d fly me to Moscow etc, they went huge about it on air, booking me into a studio in Warsaw for a special feature. And after that, literally, dumped me there. There was a meeting, where it was decided I’d ‘reached the end of my useful life‘, and that was that. No Moscow, no visa support, nothing. They’d gone so big on my having had my car and money stolen, huge features about it on air, but no compensation for that. They knew I couldn’t return to the home I’d left to report for them, in Graham Phillips WarsawOdessa, now banned from Ukraine. Again, nothing. I’m pictured here in Warsaw, just, taking it all in, wondering what to do next. And more, I didn’t at all feel at the ‘end of my useful life’, felt I was just starting.

In my return to Donbass, after doing some work for RT during the World Cup 2014, I’d negotiated a higher rate of pay, $500 a day, but only got 3 days of that in the end. So, all told, taking into account the loss of my car, equipment etc, my RT career ended with my actually having perhaps broken even, if you don’t take into account the apartment I’d effectively lost. If you do, well, I’d certainly have been much better off materially just staying at home!

But I’d never been about money. The big money was always in western media. I knew guys who’d sit in Kiev, crack out columns on Donbass for Newsweek, New Statesman etc at a couple of thousand dollars a pop. Russian media simply doesn’t offer that. I’d gone with that option because it gave me the chance to report things as I saw them.

Anyway, deported by Ukraine, dumped by RT, I saw in Warsaw in early August of 2014 wondering what to do, sure neither what, nor how to do it. The idea of doing a crowdfunder to continue reportage from Donbass just didn’t occur to me at that time – crowdfunding was still fairly new. I figured just get back there, to Donbass, and take it from there. I decided on Lugansk, and needed to hurry, with Luganskthe city further under siege each day and access nigh-on impossible. I returned from Poland, rushed to the visa embassy in London, got a tourist visa for Russia, took off for Moscow, headed down to Rostov, and found someone who got me in to the city of Lugansk, at that time cut off, under relentless Ukrainian shelling, no power, water, phone signal and the one internet connection in the city provided by the other Russian channel there, Life News. There were no other western journalists, in fact hardly any journalists, and I spent the next month filming as much as possible and, without a channel, submitting my videos to agency.

Working as a video journalist is just about as precarious a profession as it gets. There, there is – as is the nature of the trade – absolutely no loyalty, it’s simply who’s got the hottest video. So to make a living, you have to be in the hottest place a lot of times and your competition is anyone with a cameraphone! So, it’s tough, but at that time in Lugansk there was (sadly) enough action to mean that my work was taken up almost every day.

(August 22nd 2014)

However, I’ve never seen myself purely as a video journalist, enjoying filming but also being an ‘on camera’ correspondent, so was looking for offers from a channel. In September 2014, the Russian channel Zvezda approached me to work
for them. Now, I knew they reported into the Russian Military of Defence, but, was assured all my work would be presented as it was, no directives etc.

So it was, I started work for Zvezda, filming my reports on YouTube, sending them to the channel. And I have to say, working for them was actually far smoother than RT – almost no calls, or Skypes. I’d just film my report, send it off, Fullscreen capture 08062016 232532.bmpand if they took it, I’d negotiated 500 Euros, an excellent rate (although I needed to pay a camerman to film my stand-ups from that), but there would sometimes be a couple of weeks and more when they wouldn’t take anything.

Did I like the Zvezda edit of my pieces? Well, I spoke English, and they dubbed it into Russian. I wasn’t always totally enamoured with how the pieces came out, but then anyone who makes material, and hands it over for edit, will feel the same. The Russian angle, agenda in the Zvezda pieces was a bit more overt, as is the nature of the channel, and ultimately that resulted in my decision to cut ties with the channel, in February of 2015.

And, after that, I found myself at an impasse of a crossroads. I’d now become known for my work in Donbass as working with Russian media, and had seen the impact that had in the west. The result was the west immediately discounting my Fullscreen capture 08062016 233115.bmpwork ‘don’t listen to Graham, he works for Russian media‘, ‘Russian propagandist etc. When you put your life on the line, and I got wounded while working in November of 2014, to deliver the truth, it’s of course far from gratifying when there’s a palpable barrier put up to that getting over to a wider audience. Of course there are a lot of people who want it that way, have made up any number of nonsense stories and claims about me in attempts to discredit my work – I’m a Russian agent, British agent, sex tourist, gay’... it goes on.

Anyway, post Zvezda, I made the call to go it alone. I had offers to work with Vice News, but couldn’t associate myself with a channel who I felt had been entirely dishonest in their coverage of Crimea, Donbass. The BBC contacted me several times, but, after their coverage of Euromaidan, Crimea, Donbass, BBC News exists to me only as a propaganda agency I want nothing to do with.

So, I got by last year on earnings from Zvezda, my YouTube channel, and sponsors. As for the latter, people see a lot of hits, my channel is near 50 million now, and equate that with serious coin. But it’s not quite like that. A thousand hits in much of Europe, the US, can bring in about $4, quite reasonable. If those are in Russia, where rates are far lower for advertising, it’s only 0.40 cents, if Ukraine 0.20 cents. So, in the early days, when the eyes of the west were on droneUkraine, and Donbass, it did generate a decent amount. But since late 2014, the audience has been mainly Russian, from Donbass, or Ukraine so, the hits may still be high, but the sum can be a few dollars.

I did my first crowdfunder, in April of 2015, to fund a drone, it seemed to capture people’s imaginations, went very well. And in September of the year I set up a Patreon account, donations on that, a little less than $200 a month, significant to my work. That, along with donations to my Paypal account, and fairly modest expenses while working in Donbass, Crimea have allowed me to get by.

Coming back to the UK a couple of weeks ago has been a shock in a lot of ways. When I last returned in 2015, Donbass did have some resonance here, but, sadly, that’s entirely gone now, it seems like a different world. Then there’s London, it Graham Phillips UKchanges so much every time that it’s not just buildings which are different, it’s entire streets. New trends, atmosphere, it’s coming back to a city which moved so quickly it didn’t miss a beat when you left, reintegrating. And realising, this is the real world – for me, my world. You can go away and be a ‘big man’ somewhere else, taking a position against your own country’s government as I have, with my work having resonated in Donbass, and Russia (though I’d like to think not just because of that, but due to the quality of reportage, my having worked very hard – over 4000 videos on my channel), but if you’re unknown in your own backyard, there’s a discord.

Of course, being known personally is not what it’s about. I’d like people to see the reportage, know the truth. It’s hard to have friends back in Donbass, suffering under a war situation ongoing because, in large part, the west has switched off allowing the predicament there to perpetuate. But of course, as a correspondent, there are a lot of things interesting to me, which I want to report on. And there’s a bonus in doing so, that if I can win a new audience through work which resonates in the west, I can hopefully take them to know the truth about Donbass.

But how to do it, when both roads are closed, for the above reasons, to Russian, and to western channels? Well, I have go it myself, via crowdfunding.

Set up a project, find people to support it, finance it, make it happen. This is my new project, UK referendum reportage – currently at 25% of the funding target –

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/uk-referendum-reportage/x/12236308#/

So how does this compare to being a channel’s correspondent? Well, there are extra stresses – having to raise finance, of course, is stressful. Despite the perception with crowdfunding that you put a project up, and that’s it, it flies, crowdfunding is actually, usually, a fight to get financing. After my first, lucky, Fullscreen capture 09062016 015443.bmpdrone project, I did a Baltics one which ended up well under target. And this latest one similarly, tough. There are no incredibly wealthy benefactors who with the click of a moneyed finger, make the whole project happen. There are normal people, pledging mostly 10 and 20 pounds. And, in the real world, to make a project even with minimal costs happen, you need a lot of that.

However, on the other side, if it happens, the result can be, simply, the ultimate correspondent’s dream. Freedom to report everything, exactly as it is, not beholden to any one or organisation. Knowing that people support you, support your work, it’s a wonderful feeling. The potential to make a unique project happen because of that.

It’s still new though, the idea of a crowdfunded correspondent. I sometimes ask myself how it came to this, because in some ways, you are alone, everything stands or falls on you. But in another way, it’s the best thing of all, no one calling Graham Phillips journalistyou, telling you what to do, where to go. I hope to build a career on the unique opportunity that crowdfunding gives. Of course, I can only do that if people support me, and people will only support me if the work deserves it. There’s no safety net, it’s live or die.

Be sure, I’ll give it my all to realise this incredible opportunity. People pledging to me now are fairly low in number, but huge in significance. To make it happen long-term, I’ll need more people to see the worth in true, independent reportage. That could even be you, reading this. If so, be sure, from my side, your pledge to me will be met with a pledge from me to turn your support into reportage which can change the world.