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Now that @coopuk have been banned from advertising in the Spectator, maybe we take seriously the idea of apply "Preston Model" principles to the co-operative movement. At the moment the co-ops give at least some of their money to media operations that oppose co-operation.
This is justified on the grounds that they have to reach potential customers. But there is another way, that embeds the co-operative sector in the media sphere - with all the implications that has for workers in it - and builds public understanding of the co-operative model.
The co-op takes the portion of its marketing spend it currently gives to rightwing media operations and put it into a 'co-operative media fund'. Members of the co-op then to decide vote how that money is distributed to journalists' co-operatives.
Members can vote for co-operative orgs that hand local, national and international investigations and reporting. All the content is made available copyright free but it is released first as co-op branded content.
Maybe, as my favourite media academic once said "they'll just want stories about Rihanna!" But maybe co-op members will want to fund fearless journalism about the places where they live, the government they have to live under, and the wider world.
Journalism funded by a broad membership base and consciously supported by it will have a ready-made mechanism for promotion online. All of the co-ops' members can help get the message out that *co-operatives are a good thing.* Not a staple of mainstream media content.
Journalists will be free from tyrannical bosses and will instead operate within a clear ethical framework. And as the programme builds in scope and profile the co-op can start bringing in members to a body like @themediafund that aggregates payments to independent media.
TL:DR - stop giving money to subsidise people who hate you, your members and everything you stand for.
Start giving money to people who support your values and can act as ambassadors for them.
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