On February 14th of this year, Brooklyn based activist and journalist Shaun King and friend Benjamin Dixon relaunched the North Star, an abolitionist newspaper created by Fredrick Douglass in 1847. This time however, it is a modern media company serving a “modern hub for liberation journalism”. The North Star’s publishing agenda includes articles, podcasts, broadcasts and stories in many different forms. As written on the North Star Website, their mission is to be unapologetic freedom fighters who speak the truth from their own perspectives. This company is in many ways bridging the gaps between modern social-justice media by presenting a single platform for all of the different social-justice forms to come together. Since it’s launch in February, the company has built their own television broadcast studio (with broadcasts coming soon), created a website, published articles to that website, produced and released two podcast episodes and more. Oh, and it should also be mentioned that the North Star has been entirely funded by crowdsource funding by over 25,000 people and without the help of other big wig media companies.
Interestingly enough, after the North Star’s relaunch in February, many people were skeptical of their actual existence, as the North Star was not as active on their social media as some would have liked. The news that the company was not actually happening and that all employees had been fired spread throughout twitter and many people became worried. The North Star responded to this by providing links to their current articles and media out, as well as the news that studios that were being built. This almost immediate backlash and suspicion to the company is interesting to me. What does that say about the social-justice initiative today and the direction in which media approaches it? Perhaps the North Star will address that in their next podcast or article.