Greed and Rolling Stone

(TFC) – For the first time, an outside investor has bought into Rolling Stone. The outside investor is a social media entrepreneur from Singapore. What is being described in the media as a “minority share” of the once illustrious counter-culture magazine is a 49% stake. The sale is indicative of what is happening to many traditionally anti-establishment and counter-culture outlets. They’ve become properties on the Monopoly board of the international publishing world.

From Vice to Rolling Stone the pop culture counter-narrative is dying. So where can readers find a substitute? It was greed that got us into this mess, and hopefully it will be Greed that gets us out of it.

The (Re)birth of Greed:

Greed isn’t a project of The Fifth Column, although in the interest of full disclosure it should be noted that some of the TFC team have stakes in the new outlet. It was a case of serendipity. One morning, TFC received a pitch about establishing an independent outlet to rival Rolling Stone. If you’re going to dream, dream big, right? It seemed an impossible task and was placed on the back burner. Four hours later, we were offered an established domain that was set up with the idea of using visceral imagery and videography with emotional appeal to break people out of their corporate news induced slumber. Greed. It was the perfect name for the outlet. Slowly, we began piecing together a team of gonzo journalists and behind the scenes personnel who could make the project work. Then news of the Rolling Stone sale broke. The project kicked into high gear and is launching today, probably before it really should. The planning phase of TFC was years long. Greed’s was about a week.

greedThe idea behind Greed:

It’s something the independent media has toyed with for years. It’s the premise behind The Fifth Column. How do we break people’s focus on celebrities and divert it back to issues that matter? How can we beat them at their own game? How can we infiltrate the media and direct attention to the issues that are truly pressing? Greed will be presenting real issues cloaked in the glitz and glamour of the movie, music, political, and corporate elites. The never-ending scandals and hypocrisy hide the pressing issues from public view. Greed wants to change that by providing the real context behind the scandals.

Few of the bylines on the site are what would be considered independent media mainstays, something that by traditional logic is a requirement for a successful launch. Greed‘s plan is to instead rely on its unique concept, very unique columnists, and edgy marketing that is well outside of what most in the indie news world would call “acceptable”. It’s planning on drawing fresh readers into the independent media fold instead of focusing on the already converted.

Personal thoughts on Greed:

I love the idea of establishing another niche in the indie news world. I love the idea of infiltrating the pop culture community. I have concerns about the marketing. I love the diverse make up of the journalists involved. Overall, I think the theory is sound, the timing is right, and the goal is noble. Can a guerrilla news outlet truly break into the pop culture scene and peel readers away from corporate owned-entities? If they can peel them away, can they truly reach them with the information behind the stories? I don’t know, but in Greed we trust. I’ll be sharing articles I normally wouldn’t on my personal social media accounts in hope that those who constantly roll their eyes at my news and political posts are intrigued by the fresh approach.