I’ve been a fan of Defector since the former Deadspin staff launched their seemingly brash experiment in a collectively owned media company last year. Margaret Sullivan, one of our sharpest media eyes, checks in how its going:
In a world of endlessly distressing media news, the Defector story is a bright spot and maybe a small miracle.
The staff remains small but growing, they recently put out a refreshingly humane freelancer policy written in partnership with the National Writer’s Union, and have enough subscribers to sustain their operations. And it was news to me the staff could choose to fire editor Tom Ley with a 2/3 vote.
It says a lot about the state of things that launching a subscriber supported blog owned by the writers and editors who produce it is seen as either doomed to failure or brave, or both. I’m optimistic about Defector and want to see them do well, not just because it’s an excellent site, but a model I hope works for others.