What is the North Star?
Founded by Frederick Douglass in 1847, The North Star was one of the most important liberation newspapers of its day, guiding the compass of all who read it towards the north star of liberation.
171 years after it was first established, with the permission and blessing of Frederick Douglass’ family, Shaun King and Benjamin Dixon are relaunching The North Star as a modern media enterprise: a comprehensive, subscription-based media company publishing untold and overlooked stories, delivered by the most skilled and passionate voices.
Why are you relaunching the North Star?
Our mission and focus remain the same and Frederick Douglas and Dr. Martin Delany: we are unapologetic freedom fighters. Without hesitation, we speak the truth from our perspective. We will amplify voices of people that are seldom heard in mainstream media and elevate the stories that are often overlooked.
Okay, but what *IS* the North Star?
The North Star is a grassroots media company meaning that we will be whatever the community helps us become. We certainly have a vision for where we want to go. Our goal is to deliver rich, nuanced, colorful stories to a broad audience through a podcasting network, nightly news broadcasts, and a news website with original journalism and commentary from some of the top thinkers of our day.
But we can only become what you help us become which is why we need you to become a member.
How do I become a member?
Click on one of the levels to your right and chose how much you can commit on monthly basis. Fill out the form. You can process your payment with PayPal so that your information never actually hits our website. Our website is secure, but you can confidently use PayPal without having to enter your information again. You don’t have to have PayPal account to process your payment. You can also use Stripe to pay for your membership.
What if I can’t afford to be a member right now?
Listen — we completely understand if you can’t afford to chip in right now. We still want you to be a part of this community. Join our email list and we will send you exclusive content and make sure you are a part of our family. Whenever you can in the future, come back and sign up for even more perks as a member. You can also support us by reading, watching, and listening to our content. Read our emails when we send them out. Share our links on your timeline. Participate in our community. There are so many ways you can support us.
Last but not least — send us leads and stories. This is a grassroots company, so we’re leaning on the community to bring to our attention what needs more attention. We will be listening to all of you regardless of whether you are a member or not.
Can I adjust my membership level later?
Yes! We are using Woocommerce to process our memberships. They have a robust “My Account Page” feature that allows you to start, adjust, pause, or even cancel your membership. Here is a link to their support article on how to do all of this: https://docs.woocommerce.com/document/subscriptions/customers-view/
Even though there are no refunds, you can cancel your membership at any time. We’d hate to see you go, but we wanted to make sure that you had complete control over that decision and you don’t have to come to us to stop your payment and cancel your membership.
Why use a membership model? Why not just get investors?
We actually started out seeking venture capital, but we quickly discovered that many investors wanted a significant say in our editorial decisions. We want to answer to you — our community. We feel that the membership model allows us to focus on the quality of the content and not the “bottom line” of profit. We also believe that a membership model requires that we address the issues head-on versus “beating around the bush” so we don’t upset investors. With the membership model, we answer to you and if we do our jobs well enough, you reward us with continued membership.
When are you launching your content?
Our milestones are below. Once we hit 1000 members we will be launching our first podcast. 2500 members – our second podcast — so on and so forth.
From the amazing response we got during our “Launch Team” phase, our first podcast will possibly need to be announced before the end of business on the first day of our membership drive.
I have a lot of other questions not addressed in here. How do I get answers?
Please feel free to email us anytime: firstname.lastname@example.org/NORTH
Put in the subject line: Questions