Introducing: Gript Premium

In 2019, when we founded Gript, we had a few objectives.

First, we wanted to be a real alternative to the existing media outlets in Ireland. We wanted to offer different perspectives – not for the sake of it, but because too often there are important perspectives and views in Ireland which simply get ignored because they are not popular with the people who write the news, and the opinion pieces, and who dominate the airwaves. We do not, for example, disagree with the Irish Times or Irish Independent about the weather. There is no alternative perspective on whether it is raining.

There is, however, an alternative perspective on covid lockdowns. And on vaccine mandates. And on immigration. And on transgender issues, and what children should be taught in school. There is an alternative perspective on how effective climate change policy is – a perspective which you will never hear, by decree, on RTE. There are alternative perspectives on crime, and justice, and sentencing, and the rights of victims compared to offenders. There are alternative views on life, abortion, marriage, family, sex, and relationships to those promoted relentlessly elsewhere. There are alternative perspectives on who “civil society” is – we think it is more than just a series of taxpayer funded NGOs.

We wanted to give those perspectives a voice. In that, I think we have succeeded: When you read about immigration in Ireland today, chances are you will hear a statistic about immigration unearthed by our own Matt Treacy. When you read about Matt Hancock and the fearmongering in the UK over lockdown, you might recall that it was Gript Media which unearthed emails showing a similar campaign amongst Irish experts, way back in 2020. When you observe the growing salience of the debate about transgender rights, you might recall that it was this media outlet – and not any of the others – which first gave a voice to people raising those issues, and questioning the consensus in Ireland.

Second, we wanted to be credible: You cannot be an alternative to mainstream media outlets if you start off with lower standards than those outlets have. We have worked diligently to accomplish one goal: That a person knows when they read a fact in Gript, it is true.

That is why we joined the Press Council. It is also why we sometimes annoy readers who might wish we said more than we do on certain topics – credibility matters. It matters to our readers, but more importantly it matters to the causes and ideas which we think are worth advancing. Getting it wrong once might be forgiven, but a news outlet which is careless with facts will soon lose the trust of anybody it might try to reach. Furthermore, it would play into the narrative constructed by the Government that its critics are engaged in “fake news”. What we have always sought to demonstrate is that Irish politicians can be held to account from the right with the established and agreed facts alone. I believe we have accomplished much from this approach: Alone amongst the alternative media ecosystem in Ireland, we now regularly question and confront politicians directly. In two years, not one complaint against our coverage has been upheld by the Press Ombudsman.

Third, we wanted to be accountable to readers, not proprietors or the state. This one, friends, has been the biggest challenge.

Media is a bad business to be in, if your goal is to make money: News is expensive to produce, and very cheap to consume. What’s more, those most motivated to donate tend to be those who care least about your credibility and how measured you are: We probably lose more potential supporters for not making unsupported claims on certain topics than we gain in people who appreciate a sober commitment to the facts. That’s just the reality.

What’s more, contrary to some claims to the contrary, Gript does not have an armada of big donors behind it. We are, legitimately, broke: Every month is a struggle to pay wages. The prospect of growing at our current income levels is, frankly, remote, barring a sudden euromillions win.

Nor are we likely, it is fair to say, to get any grants from Government any time soon. Not that we would take them if they were offered, because independence is easy to lose and hard to get back.

In light of all of this, we need more money. And, for the sake of clarity, that means we need more of your money.

But not for nothing.

From this week, Gript has a premium subscription service. That means that while most of our content – about 80% – will remain free, some of our existing content will no longer be available to free readers. Subscribers also get the following, craftily prepared by our one-man marketing team (his name is Gary):

  •         Access to exclusive content that is not available to non-subscribers
  •         An invitation to a twice-yearly online discussion and Q&A with Gript editors and writers.
  •         The ability to comment on articles and engage with our community
  •         Priority access to our events, including live Q&A sessions and interviews
  •         Ad-free browsing

What’s more, everyone who wants to try it out gets a free trial: Just click here and use the promo code “GTrial”. Your trial will expire after one month, and if you don’t like what we offer, then no hard feelings.

But if you are somebody who values what we do here, then I want to emphasize something: This is not a marketing strategy, or “the next stage in our growth”, or any of that stuff. This is a matter of pure survival. We need to grow revenues substantially over the coming months, or else, we will not be here. It really is that simple.

Given the choice, I would much prefer our work remained entirely free, for everyone, all the time. But we deal in facts here, and the fact is: that is no longer viable.

I happen to think we have done good work here at Gript, and if you’re reading this, then there’s a fair chance you agree. I’d like that work to continue, but to do so we need to take this step.

Finally, I’d like to thank readers for all your support, trust, and loyalty over the three and half years of our existence. Without readers, nothing we do matters at all. Writing for you every day has been the best job I’ve ever had.


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