spiked: a free-for-all of ideas and debate

Some changes at spiked plus.

spiked plus is moving. Where to? Into spiked more broadly. After much thought, and consultation with you guys, spiked plussers, we have decided that rather than having a little bit of spiked behind a paywall, we want to make it all free. So from today, our podcasts, our voices from history, my mid-week editorial, and other stuff that has appeared exclusively on spiked plus will cross over into wall-free, subs-free spiked.

spiked’s general content has always been free on principle rather than by accident. Unlike other online publications, and more than a few newspapers, we didn’t drift accidentally into providing content for free and then later wring our hands over how we might surreptitiously erect a paywall around all of it. Rather, the freeness of our daily burst of radical humanist thought against modern-day miserabilism was a very conscious thing.

We want our articles to be as accessible to as broad and universal an audience as possible. Like those old pamphleteers of the Enlightenment, who pressed their radical wares into people’s hands in the hope that their ideas would spread, not in order to get rich, we want the public, publics everywhere in fact, to read us, discuss us, and maybe even side with us against the low-horizons lobby and legion killjoyists who make up so much of the public sphere in the twenty-first century. Our aim is to talk to as many people as possible, and change a fair few of their minds.

Yet while spiked might be free to read, it isn’t free to produce. And it is only thanks to our generous readers, and spiked plussers, that we have been able to keep publishing for more than 10 years now. spiked is the magazine you don’t have to pay for, but which many people choose to, through making donations, through generously putting their money where our mouth is. And we hope more will do that.

spiked has bigger ambitions than ever. Through our newly launched Free Speech Now! campaign, we aim to do nothing less than transform the debate about freedom of speech and censorship in twenty-first-century Europe. With our newly designed spiked review of books, we will provide a unique online space for longform content that asks big and awkward questions about the big ideas of our time. And this isn’t even to mention our daily round of articles, all taking aim at the downbeat mood of our times and putting the case for liberty, choice, progress, growth and high expectations of both society and individuals. All of this takes time, ideas, energy and people to produce - and money.

So, spiked is free. But to keep it free, we need your help. To ensure that this online oasis of liberty-loving thought and argument can be accessed by anyone with an internet connection and a critical mind, we need more people willing to become friends, to donate, to set up monthly contributions, or to give us one-off gifts. Want spiked to remain free for all? Then please become a friend today. Click here to make a monthly donation, and here to make a one-off contribution. And then carry on reading and listening to and watching our ever-expanding content.

Brendan O’Neill is editor of spiked.

Cover picture: statue of Thomas Paine, Thetford, via Andrewself / Wikimedia

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