This is a statement about the current situation of Cosmopolita Scotland. After piloting this independent, bilingual and digital platform for three years to promote journalism as a tool for social change, with no resources and on a voluntary basis, we regrettably find ourselves with no choice but to stop our activity and reconsider the project and its continuity.
As you have probably noticed, in the past few months Cosmopolita Scotland hasn’t published any new special issues, and we have added little new content to our website and social media. This is not because of a shortage of articles or contributors willing to produce and share information, but because we lack the resources and the means to publish.
The managerial and editorial team of Cosmopolita Scotland is formed entirely by volunteers, although we have welcomed 14 paid internships for students and recent graduates through different academic programmes. The chief editors manage the project in their spare time and they have been overwhelmed by the amount of information they have to edit, translate and share, the number of interns they have had to manage and train in journalistic processes and other fields, and the extended list of other tasks they have to undertake to develop the project. Two of our chief editors have gradually dedicated more and more time to the project reducing drastically the number of hours they dedicate to their paid jobs with the aim of making this collective project a sustainable public service.
This situation has affected their personal lives and their professional careers. For this reason, we have reached the conclusion that those authorities, organisations and social projects funders that have praised this initiative should get actively involved to make Cosmopolita Scotland a viable self-sustainable organisation in the future.
As you can imagine, guaranteeing media independence is not easy, especially when the projects depend on advertisers and private interests. Memberships systems are also difficult to manage if you want to sustain an accurate and rigorous communication project. Even significant and prestigious media outlets have to fight and work hard every day to make sure that the subscription fees of their members guarantee the survival of their projects. This is why Cosmopolita Scotland was constituted as charity. This involved clear obligations and limits the commercial options that conventional business usually have. However, it also protects our editorial line. In our case, focus on the advancement of the citizenship and the defence of the environment.
We are very grateful for your support during these almost three years of our existence. Cosmopolitan Scotland has grown in scale much more than we anticipated and has confirmed, as we have suspected from the beginning, that there is a real need to create bridges of understanding between cultures and between migrant and local communities. In Scotland, in the UK and in the world. Migrant communities need to be able to find tailored information about Scotland and the UK to improve and ensure their integration in the country. Likewise, there is also a need and desire for Scottish and British citizens to have reliable information about the countries of origin of the foreign communities living in Scotland and the United Kingdom. In this context, Cosmopolitan Scotland gives special, but not exclusive attention, to the Spanish-speaking world.
Many studies emphasise the need for media to position themselves as change agents that provide a voice for those who do not have it; challenge stereotypes, prejudices and misconceptions towards the migrant community and other groups; and act as a tool to hold governments and economic powers accountable. Cosmopolita Scotland aspires to be one of those change agents that aids the public interest by providing constructive and positive journalism to our readers. In our publication we can see the potential of addressing numerous issues that can help in the integration of cultures such as the advancement of interculturality in Scotland and the United Kingdom, the sociology behind xenophobic discourses in the street, refugee awareness, community responses to the financial system, etc. But we cannot do it alone and without resources.
We thought that Brexit and the outbreak of xenophobia that followed the campaign and the result showed clear evidence of the need for a project that supports cultural integration and offers journalism as a means for education and social and environmental change and progress. But we were wrong. Things have proved very difficult.
Now is the time for some organisations to show their real support if they want to see this collective project progress and help in the integration of migrant communities in Scotland.
If you want to help us, simply share this message with your contacts in social media and let them know about our project. Cosmopolita Scotland is everyone’s project. If we lost this publication, we will continue to be exposed to the information only provided by the biggest media outlets, which in the vast majority of cases, is incomprehensible for migrants.
Thank you very much for your attention
Cosmopolita Scotland team