17 independent UK-based media organisations to support
A selection of our favourite independent publications and organisations, based in the UK, highlighting underrepresented narratives.
31 Mar 2023
As we at gal-dem say goodbye, we wanted to share a list of fellow independent media and creative organisations based in the UK to support going forwards.
87% of journalists in the UK come from white ethnic groups, working class representation in journalism is “at a record low”, and women of colour are facing a “culture of exclusion” in top media jobs, all according to recent reports. At a time when journalism and the arts are clearly in crisis, seeking these platforms out and supporting them has never been more important.
Whether you’re a reader, a writer or a creative, here are some organisations to follow, support and pitch to.
Centring and amplifying the voices of Muslim women is what Amaliah is all about. They do so through written articles, podcasts, events and brand partnerships. Their membership packages include a range of tiers consisting of monthly contributions ranging from £5-25 or you can also contribute a one-off amount. Find out more here.
We all rejoiced when Aurelia announced it would be returning earlier this year, following a brief hiatus since June last year due to financial difficulty. Like gal-dem, Aurelia publishes the work of marginalised genders and you can support them by following their work, becoming a member or making a one-off donation.
Creating inclusive safe spaces, challenging societal norms and centring women and NB folks within West Asia, South Asia and North Africa is Azeema‘s focus. Their platform has been amplifying the voices of their communities since 2017 digitally, in their print editions and through their creative agency arm. Fostering an international community is no small feat; support their work via their newsletter here.
Black Ballad is a subscription-based multimedia platform made for Black women by Black women. They regularly discuss important topics such as misogynoir, mental health and finances, as well as lighter subjects like arts, culture and dating. Their platform uplifts Black voices and is vital in a current media landscape that often overlooks these perspectives. Support them by becoming a member here.
Founded by Tori West, BRICKS is an independent, queer-led publication with a focus on exploring social-political issues within fashion, music, arts and culture. Signing up for a BRICKS membership gives you access to their alternative learning platform, where from £3.50 a month you’ll receive their weekly creative opportunities newsletter, advice and more.
Disability Arts Online
Disability Arts Online is an online platform celebrating and supporting disabled artists in all forms; whether that’s showcasing their work, sharing professional opportunities, or creating opportunities for connection with other artists. They primarily publish editorial reviews, opinion and interviews on art, and welcome pitches from disabled writers. Read more about their latest zine, Practising Unapologetics! by Onyx Collective, a group of artists within the DAO network.
Since its inception seven years ago, GUAP prides itself on being a cultural tastemaker, showcasing all things music, fashion and art. Their digital presence provides a platform for upcoming creatives and names that you should know. Stay updated via their newsletter.
Launched last year by writer and previous gal-dem contributor Haaniyah Angus, Labaatan is an online oasis for all things culture, literature, life and music. Independent to its core, the magazine is creating a community of young writers to platform their work and explore key themes and topics that are close to them. Support the mag by subscribing to their newsletter.
Noctis Magazine is a print magazine and digital hub for all things fashion, music, art and culture. Bursting with creativity through a small but fierce staff team, Noctis regularly spotlight upcoming artists, designers, musicians and put you onto the trends before they’re even trends. Support the mag by following them here.
Novara is one of the leading voices in UK independent media, funded almost entirely by supporter donations. Their editorial, audio and video content is bold, brave and unique – setting a new standard for the media industry. You can support them from as little as £1 a month – find out more here. Cleverly, they also do merch.
Back in November we collaborated with oestrogeneration on A new legacy, a week-long series platforming transfeminine writers of colour and their stories. Founded by June Bellebono, the online platform “aims to showcase the depths and multitudes of identities” of trans women and transfeminine people by covering a range of topics beyond trans politics.
Polyester is an intersectional feminist arts and culture publication “aiming to bridge the gap of url cyberfeminism with the irl world.” Their latest print zine has just been announced, with three covers featuring Doechii, Cat Burns and Piri. You can support their work by joining The Polyester Dollhouse from £2.50 a month.
“See. Hear. Act. Do” is shado’s motto. The online and print magazine works with a community of over 300 artists, activists and journalists in over 50 countries around the world, with editors based in London, New York, Mexico, Switzerland and beyond. You can support them by attending their semi-regular online and in-person events, ranging from exhibitions to panel discussions.
Through their variety of events, online platform and print magazine, Skin Deep makes space for Black creatives and creatives of colour to work together towards justice. Their beautiful current season Palestine: Ways of Being features illustrations by longtime gal-dem collaborator Aude Nasr, and submissions are now open until 17 April for their 10th annual print edition on the theme of play.
Independent media is few and far between in Scotland but The Skinny has stood the test of time as the go-to source for all things arts & culture in Scotland. The free monthly print magazine and website covers music, art, film & TV, books, politics and more.
Where The Leaves Fall
For all things nature, make sure you support Where The Leaves Fall. The magazine operates in print and digitally and is deputy-edited by original gal-dem member Niellah Arboine. The magazine bridges the gap between humans and nature, and explores connections to our environment through art, food, culture, science and more. Support them by subscribing to their print and digital editions here.
Founded in 2019, WEIRDO is a UK-based zine and platform documenting the experiences and perspectives of South Asian people in the alternative scene across the world. Read our 2022 interview with founder Naz Toorabally here.
Of course, this list is not exhaustive – throughout our history at gal-dem, we’ve looked to platform fellow emerging zines and publications. Read more in our previous articles below: