Washington, DC (TFC) – When The Fifth Column started, we were prepared for a long uphill battle. We drew up plans for expansion reflecting our belief that it would take years for the site to come into its own, although we remained optimistic we would stumble upon readers like you. The expectation, if we were honest with ourselves at the time we launched, was to reach a few hundred people our first month. We reached over one hundred thousand. The Fifth Column isn’t even a year old, and we’ve exceeded our wildest dreams. We’ve reached millions. The idea has always been to attack the government and corporate stranglehold on the media by turning The Fifth Column into a network that could compete with the major state and corporate media outlets. As we approached our one-year anniversary, we began to look at the projects we believed wouldn’t be possible for years to come. They are possible.
The Fifth Column needs you to make them happen, though.
Major campaigns: These campaigns are designed to fundamentally alter the way we disperse information. They are all designed to be financially self-supporting once online.
TFC Radio: Although this project will come online in phases, the final product won’t be a radio show. It will be a radio station that operates 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. This is a key component of “The Infiltration”. It’s essential to reaching behind the walls of state security built by many foreign nations. While many automated censorship systems pick up on keywords in texts, few nations have a method in place for filtering streamed audio content. The station will broadcast from a seemingly unaffiliated server, while carrying the content of The Fifth Column to listeners all over the world. (Major costs: server, sound equipment)
TFC TV: Much like our radio station, the project will come online in phases. The project will begin with on-demand news coverage and discussion as well as live on the ground reporting from breaking events. The next phase will be to produce documentaries. Eventually, this project will lead to a continuously-running internet TV station with the same goals as the radio station. (Major costs: server, video equipment, newsroom set, funding for first documentary, travel)
TFC Publishing: The Fifth Column is probably best known for its in-depth articles that reach several thousand words in length. Anything over 1,000 words pushes the limits of the average internet reader’s attention span. Luckily, we cater to advanced readers. Imagine if you could obtain the same type of in-depth information in book form. In the world of the high-tech, it seems strange that something as mundane as ink and paper could make a difference, but it will. It will allow our authors to delve even deeper into subjects and expand our coverage beyond the news. The books are slated to be listed not only in TFC’s website, but also through Amazon and Barnes and Noble. (Major costs: reviewing and editing fees)
Minor campaigns: These campaigns are designed to further the influence of The Fifth Column. Some are financially self-supporting, some are extremely low-cost, and others are seen as a public service for which we will shoulder the operating expenses.
Tradecraft Classes: One of TFC’s most read, unique, and controversial series of articles is our Tradecraft section. The section provides practical advice on everything from emergency preparedness to hostage survival. We will be offering in-person classes and forums covering the same type of material. Our pilot program is slated to begin in Ohio within 60 days. We would like to be able to make some of the instructors available to travel to various parts of the country and conduct classes to help expand the knowledge base of readers and activists. (Major costs: travel and lodging)
24/7 Breaking News: As breaking news occurs we will began utilizing social media to immediately fact-check and counteract propaganda efforts. (Major costs: personnel)
Multiple publishing languages: The performance reports from Google show us The Fifth Column has reached every identified territory in their listing. As our foreign readership expands, it will become necessary to provide native-language articles. This project is already in the beginning stages. (Major costs: translation fees)
Radio News Bulletins: Currently, independent radio show hosts must use corporate or state media to obtain prerecorded news bulletins for their shows. Some may remember a few weeks ago when we ran a three-day test of the system we plan on offering to radio show hosts. This test showed the interest was there. We will begin offering this service for free to hosts. (Major costs: digitized speech software)
Youth outreach: One of the goals of The Fifth Column is to undermine and infiltrate the current media structure. That goal is where our name originates. The best way to achieve this is to reach future journalists before they are indoctrinated. We plan on working with future journalists and instilling them with the ideas and theories of guerrilla and adversarial journalism before they reach journalism school. (Major costs: travel, printed material)
Miscellaneous: Some costs are either shared by all of the campaigns, or don’t fall into a specific category. Some examples of this would include advertising fees associated with getting the word out about individual projects, labor costs, or the cost of the accountant to keep track of the expenses.
Excess funds and Transparency: If the fundraiser exceeds its goal, the funds will be held and used to further The Fifth Column. The money might be used to fund an additional documentary or to simply pay for advertising. Expenditures from this fundraiser will be cataloged and made public each quarter. It should be noted that some of the projects will come online immediately after being funded, while others may take six to eight months to begin.
What happens if you don’t donate: If you’ve read this far, you are The Fifth Column. Since this outlet launched, you have made the difference. You’re as important as any of our journalists. Normally in an appeal for funding, the potential donor is presented with a doomsday scenario reflecting what would happen if the funding is not received. So, what will happen? Nothing. If this fundraiser fails, The Fifth Column will continue as it is. The outlet is in no danger of closing its doors. If the outlet receives partial funding, we will do our best to cut corners and enact as many of the projects as we can. We believe our readers understand the importance of our mission. We feel they’ve seen and celebrated our climb over the last year with us. We know our readers understand that we need to continue expanding while we have the momentum to do so.
The Fifth Column was founded without an operational budget. Over the last year, we have expanded through sheer force of will. If we can accomplish what we have over the last year with no funding, imagine what we can accomplish with it. This is the moment we can take back the media.
The goal may seem high, but if every person that read an article within the last four days donated one dollar, we’d be overfunded. Click here to donate.
Thank you for your continued support and for helping us continue The Infiltration.