The Year in The Battleground

Planning for 2022

The Battleground does things differently. From the start, the idea was to stand out in a highly competitive media market in which there was too much of the same thing.

Working for a living. South Asian migrant, Torino.

Being veterans of both the Brussels and international news scenes — our leadership team has worked everywhere from the BBC and Cafébabel to France 24 and Israel’s i24News — we’d accumulated enough experience to know what to do.

Since our website first launched in August 2019, we’ve done just that. Focused on long reads, we’ve published 445 articles, featuring original photography, three field recording records and two books, with a third due in February 2022.

Our website readership has likewise expanded to sixty countries during this time, without a marketing budget. Just hard, daily work from our team, largely during the pandemic, growing The Battleground audience using free social media platforms such as Facebook, Reddit and Twitter.

This year has been our busiest, and most focused on audio, closing out the year with a growing number of podcasts from our Left To Burn Channel, syndicated through Substack, and our partnership with the Eurasian Climate Brief, a brilliant London startup led by Natalie Sauer.

Topping it off is our brand new website, which we quietly rolled out the last fortnight. Still undergoing adjustments, it’s the perfect capper to a year’s worth of work led by design director Jennifer Crakow, with our longtime senior designer, Philippe Nicolas.

Next year will prove to be just as busy, with Josh White’s first collection of essays on British and European politics, new field recording LPs by Raz Mesinai and Joel Schalit, and our first audiobooks, one of which will be an audio-first release about multiethnic cuisine in Torino.

To help finance this work, we’ve launched our own Patreon page. Offering three levels of membership, this is the first time that The Battleground has undertaken a long-term support campaign of this kind, as we have mostly self-funded the platform until now.

Check it out and give us a hand if you can. As with The Battleground, we’ll give a lot back, most importantly, a community of hard-working, forward-thinking journalists and artists who view their work as a public service, in support of democracy, and fighting the good fight.

Photograph courtesy of Joel Schalit. All rights reserved.