On the face of it Cornwall Reports seems to be a very interesting idea but if I have a doubt it's due to the principle name attached to the project. My concerns about Graham Smith have been spelt out elsewhere (click here), they don't need to be repeated here.
What can be added however is a little detail that came to mind on reading his name. Once, in a pique with Mebyon Kernow, Smith, on his impartial BBC blog, quoted George Orwell on nationalism - the objective being undoubtedly to paint MK as evil nationalists. The irony! An employee of a state-controlled media mouthpiece quoting George 'Big Brother' Orwell in an attack on a small political movement that defends the rights of a dissenting minority. When this was pointed out on his blog no response was forthcoming.
A thought for the day: Perhaps if Mr Smith, the Labour party and a long list of others had spent more of their time examining and taking apart the arguments of the Anglo-British nationalist and xenophobic UKIP rather than focusing their attention on the likes of MK, Plaid and the SNP (competitors with Labour) we wouldn't be in the mess we are today.
Anyway, what they have to say for themselves can be found below. Should they be awarded the benefit of the doubt? I suppose so.
Cornwall Reports is a project to reinvent journalism. It is part of a mission to re-establish the primacy of rationalism and objective facts, using technology to finance the gathering and dissemination of news. Like the pamphleteers of the 17th and 18th centuries, Cornwall Reports seeks to make a fundamental contribution to democracy.
The premise is that as technology lowers production costs, so the value of media reduces, finally, to that of its content alone. The ambition of Cornwall Reports is to eventually produce content which is financed entirely by its consumers. In short, you will pay for only what you read, without the hidden costs of adverts, pop-ups, surveys and clickbait. Cornwall Reports is just journalism, pure and simple.
In the 21st century, the Cornwall Reports project will have to challenge the might of global publishing giants such as Facebook and Google – which today effectively act as gatekeepers to almost every digital word read online. Cornwall Reports must therefore fight an asymmetrical war in which size alone does not matter.
The business plan calls for Cornwall Reports to build a brand identity free of advertising (the growing prevalence of ad-blocking software already poses a severe threat to conventional online news media) and ultimately to make its content invisible to search engines.
Cornwall Reports becomes viable as an ad-free online newspaper once it has 1,000 subscribers. The sooner that day comes, the better – we estimate about one year. If you would be willing to be among the founding subscribers, and would like to take advantage of the rewards that includes, then please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get in touch.