A growing string of Pearls and just as many Irritations: P&I needs your support

Jul 30, 2023
Continuous one line drawing of open oyster shell with pearl. Image: iStock

In 2017, Pearls and Irritations had a half a million views. By the end of 2022 we had more than 5.3 million views and we have already surpassed 3.3 million views heading into the second half of 2023. We receive more than 400,000 monthly views, and frequently many more.

Our voice and reach is expanding. In the past year our subscribed readers have grown to more than 28,000, while our social media audience has risen exponentially on Twitter to more than 10,000. Striking a nerve, we are grateful that our articles are shared widely by journalists and opinion followers.

Independent media is important in Australia, where monopoly in main stream media has led to bias by a few players. New publications, once considered to have independent voices have shifted closer to the Washington influenced mainstream. While the digital news has meant more people access stories of the day, from anywhere in the world, it is clear that responsible journalism is in decline and the rise of social or citizen-style journalism has potential for misinformation.

Pearls and Irritations retains its independence and its voice. We have an opinion, particularly on issues of peace and justice, delivered by independent authors who have the experience and subject matter expertise to support their considered opinions. Our writers contribute their articles without payment, and we are open to submissions from anyone.

Our articles are distributed to our subscribers and contributors daily and weekly through a newsletter, published online on the website and delivered publicly through our social media accounts which include Facebook, Twitter, and Linked In. This year, to broaden our readership, we also created accounts on Instagram and on Pinterest. Social media has been an elevated activity in our daily production. It has proven to increase our readership.

Pearls and Irritations continues to be supported only by contributors. We are independent and we don’t accept financial support from governments, their agencies and vested interests like fossil fuel and arms manufacturing companies.

Our contributors are our readers and writers, to whom we are very grateful.

Our readers and our contributors are of course the key to what we deliver daily and without whom we wouldn’t exist. While the majority of our readers are Australian, our international readerships is also increasing. This month alone, our articles are viewed in the United States, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Canada, Taiwan and Japan.

We achieve a lot with a small team. There are just a handful of people who drive Pearls and Irritations daily. Myself as Editor-in-Chief and Aran Martin as Editor are supported by a small production team who publish the articles on the platform and across our social media. Our technical support maintains the platform as needed and develops new requirements. I am grateful to Susie, who has supported Pearls and Irritations from its inception, but needed to step back this year for health reasons.

We address issues that are not always found in mainstream media. We bring a different opinion to the table to broaden our reader’s perspective, not just to impose our views. In current times, mainstream media is letting down its readers with its bias and one-eyed approach to news, as well as a tendency toward propaganda, policy agendas and misinformation. Readers are looking for and are entitled to more educative information, delivered without agendas. Google shows us that readers are searching out independent media and finding Pearls and Irritations.

That’s why our string of Pearls is getting longer, while we continue to reveal just as many Irritations.

To continue and to grow Pearls and Irritations needs to lift donations by at least a third.

Growth is not cost free. As mentioned Susie has had to withdraw from her very active role. We are also incurring additional legal and accounting costs to provide for new governance arrangements that we will announce shortly. I am 88(!) but will continue to be actively involved as Chair and Editor in Chief.

We have more than 28,000 subscribers but only about six (6) per cent donate. Increased donation by many readers would be a great help.

Average donations are about $16 per month. We prefer to rely on many small and moderate donors but perhaps existing donors would consider increasing their monthly contribution.

Please ask your friends to donate.

We are determined that Pearls and Irritations will continue and grow.

We avoid aggressive fund raising but we do need additional financial support from the Pearls and Irritations community.

To make your donation visit our Contributions page.

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