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Political website Left Foot Forward launches appeal for £10,000 warning it could close if target not met

The editor of Left Foot Forward has warned the political news website will have to shut down unless it can raise £10,000.

A crowdfund appeal to reach the target was set up on Monday and has so far raised more than £2,400 from 77 supporters with 21 days left to go. Readers can also donate from £5 a month to support the website.

Left Foot Forward was created by Will Straw, son of former home secretary Jack Straw, ten years ago.

It is run by a team of two part-time editorial staff, including editor Josiah Mortimer (pictured), who was given a lobby pass last year.

In a story about its push for funds, Mortimer said: “Being an independent left-wing platform isn’t easy. Our media remains dominated by an elite few.

“I have to be blunt. If we don’t raise £10,000, we won’t be able to keep going. But if we all chip in today, we can safeguard and ramp up our hard-hitting, progressive journalism.”

Speaking to Press Gazette, Mortimer said the fundraiser had been “encouraging”, adding: “The messages of support on there show there’s an appetite for what we’re doing – our coverage of issues that don’t get a huge hearing in the rest of the media.”

He noted that the website had published articles from more than 1,200 contributors over the last decade, including former Green Party leader Caroline Lucas.

Mortimer said £10,000 was enough to get the website “through another year” on top of its other sources of income, but added: “Obviously we want to be more ambitious than that.”

The website is part of the Political Pixel media co-operative, which Mortimer said was the main source of his website’s funding with further cash coming from reader donations and advertising.

Political Pixel also supports the left-wing blog Political Scrapbook and Labour Party news website Labour List.

Mortimer said he would consider other avenues for keeping the site alive if the fundraiser did not meet its target, but that his “number one goal” was getting a “sustainable base of reader contributions”.

Left Foot Forward articles will remain free to readers, said Mortimer, seeming to rule out a paywall, with the publication’s priority continuing to be reaching as many people as possible.

Picture: Left Foot Forward

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