Discover more from Outspoken with Dr Naomi Wolf
Dear Readers: Five Reasons
Notes on the Role of Support
I cherish you as my family of interlocutors. Our journey on Substack together, with my series of essays, Outspoken, has been precious to me. I hope it has been meaningful to you too.
The culture overall, and journalism especially, is in a time of darkness. But together we are indeed making a difference. Reading and writing together, and having the intense discussions in the comments section that we do, is a way for many of us to keep a spark of civility, curiosity, and community alive in our sometimes difficult days.
It’s been impactful, too, it seems from the numbers: these essays generated over 589,000 views in the last 30 days. Outspoken has almost 70,000 subscribers. Of these 70,000, though, only 2410 are paid subscribers.
I am writing to you with my mission statement as a writer, and with five reasons why I am asking, if you can afford $7 a month, or $70 a year, that you upgrade please, to becoming a paid subscriber to Outspoken.
First of all, my essays are free. That is because I believe that many are important; and some, such as the ones that present the reproductive and other damage that we are finding in the Pfizer documents, or that present my reporting that broke the story of the role of China in manufacturing and distributing the mRNA vaccines, contain lifesaving information.
People share these essays, as they should, with their loved ones. Some of these essays save lives. Others help people feel less alone.
It feels wrong to me to put a paywall around such critically needed information.
Second, my essays are grounded in the ethics of classical journalism and in the aesthetics of the English literary-nonfiction tradition.
I am sad to see that the number of classically-trained journalists who still practice our profession according to what were til recently our general professional ethics, has dwindled to a handful. Legacy media is of course thoroughly corrupted by money and politics, as I showed in my book The Bodies of Others.
Alternative or independent media is thriving, though. I applaud that. Many doctors, scientists, and citizen commentators of all kinds, have stepped into the void left by the collapse of legacy news outlets’ integrity; and many do fantastic, important work.
Audiences for writers are not zero-sum games. The more voices, the better. I hope you support every writer whose work you find valuable.
That said, I still believe that there are special reasons to value journalism written by an old-school journalist, trained to write objective news and opinion, who is still wedded to traditional journalistic ethics.
The kind of classical journalism to which I am committed, and in which I spent 35 years of training, is harder, less lucrative, less “clickable,” and more exacting to produce, than is a good deal of the other kinds of content available today online.
It is my belief that classical journalism has unique value still, due to certain ethics and practices.
Here are some ways in which I adhere to old-school journalistic ethics:
I will never not disclose a sponsor.
I will never endorse a candidate.
I will never accept any role with any political entity without disclosing it fully.
If I have a conflict of interest of any kind, I disclose it.
I will never present to you advertising disguised as independent opinion.
I will never make a mistake without immediately and publicly noting and rectifying it.
If I make an assertion of fact, it will not be based on my opinion alone, or one faulty or unverifiable source, or on unnamed sources. I will never simply reproduce an internet claim or a claim by a spokesperson. I won’t repost video I have not confirmed. I won’t make claims based on popular opinion, or on online cliques.
If I make a statement of fact, it will be based on a solid source with a link, or my own eyewitness reporting, or it will be verified by two independent sources.
I will always try to keep an open mind, and will correct any conclusion that may be incomplete, when new information comes to light.
Thirdly, classical nonfiction requires high levels of time and effort. Traditional literary nonfiction involves style, and style requires intense labor.
I don’t post every day. Sometimes I don’t post for a week or more. I don’t drop a rough draft of my latest impulses, or of any superficial reactions of mine to events, into your inbox.
When you do get an email from me, it is a real, finished essay, “ready” as we used to say before the literary world collapsed, “for publication.”
The essay will have been through multiple revisions — meaning that sometimes I have worked on it for days. I’ve mulled over the right word, heard out the music in the language and adjusted it for rhythm, evaluated the deeper meanings in the text, and polished and polished; so that you can be on an actual journey as a reader; one that changes you, or that resonates with you, or that makes you cry, or that teaches you something new.
All that revision takes time and care.
My late father, Dr Leonard Wolf, a writer too, taught me that a real writer is more like a shoemaker laboring at his or her awl, than like a genius languorously awaiting the descent of the Muse; and indeed, real prose — prose that lasts, that moves readers — requires just that kind of unglamorous, meticulous labor. It involves emotional exertion, sometimes painful exertion; and it involves just that humble devotion to craftsmanship.
Fourth reason: please support me because of the high and unending costs of public dissent.
I am also now independent — unpublishable, due to my having told the truth about MRNA vaccines, by any of my former commissioners at The Guardian, The New York Times, The Washington Post, etc. I always told you the truth; but as a result of my banishment from the world of legacy media, I can bring you urgently important news that legacy news outlets now cannot.
Thus we/I have broken story after story, from the early evidence of the mrna-related genocide itself, to the impacts of the mRNA vaccines on fetuses, breastfeeding and placentas, to the fact that the CCP knew that the second injection would damage the hearts of mammals; to being an eyewitness to what may have been the aerial targeting of Manhattan.
I ask questions that the legacy media dare not ask; and I do so using traditional journalism’s tools; so my work cannot be easily dismissed. It makes a difference to policymakers, much as they may wish to ignore it, because it is rigorous (that is why I am currently targeted by two governments, my own White House, and the UK’s government agency Ofcom).
This kind of impactful reporting is scary these days, or else everyone would be doing it.
Honestly it requires courage at levels that sometimes are hard to summon.
It also requires, as I’ve written before, tens of thousands of dollars a year in legal bills, as well as investment in systems that protect my electronic communications and my security.
When you support my work via a paid subscription, you allow me to not worry about finances at the same time that I am devoting my energies to fighting this range of other battles.
(Though I cofounded a successful civic tech company, DailyClout.io, its revenues go into the expenses involved in bringing America digital state and Federal legislation to share, in producing quality news about democracy, in building out surveillance-free social media, and in my, along with our COO Amy Kelly, bringing you the Pfizer Documents reports.)
The huge economic hit that my family and I took from the withdrawal of legacy media and commercial publishing, when and after I told the truth, is a small price to pay for the privilege of standing on the right side of history.
But your support for my work as a paid subscriber, now, does a great deal to give me a level of freedom from anxiety about the resources required of a dissident. That freedom from anxiety in turn helps me to cover the news that most affects you and your families; and it helps me to continue to express my opinion fearlessly, no matter which powerful entities are enraged by my doing so.
Fifth, and lastly, your becoming a paid subscriber gives me moral support. I think what I am doing is valuable — I believe that the worker is worthy of her hire; and when you support me, if you can, it tells me that you do too.
Many of you, I know, cannot afford to do so. Thank you for continuing to read me, if this is the case for you. I will try never to put up a pay wall to you.
Many of you have told me about being on fixed incomes, and of your being “prayer warriors” for me. I am so grateful to you if so. I cherish every reader, paid or unpaid, and I appreciate your readership and your prayers at least as much as any paid subscriptions.
That said, if you are, in contrast, a reader fortunate enough to be able to afford to subscribe for money, please do. It helps me to keep these essays free for everyone.
Also, you are putting resources where your values are; and you are helping me substantially, as I remain in the trenches, to insist upon truth and facts, in a lying and treacherous world.
Whatever you decide, you have all my thanks for being that most precious of friends to a writer — her community of readers.
Thank you from my heart.
With love and appreciation,
Outspoken with Dr Naomi Wolf is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.