In August 2014, I moved to Berlin and started the project Free21.org. In the beginning, it was just me and the idea. The first issue of the Free21 magazine was published in November 2014 and I did it completely alone. For months, I had to use almost everything I had learned in my adult life, from newspaper typography to web publishing to journalism. I had no concept of the potential this idea would create. With this 21st issue of the Free21 magazine we have now passed another milestone.
Thanks to the media support from KenFM, the concept became known throughout the German-speaking world and people came into my life who were enthusiastic about this idea and committed themselves to it in very different ways. Some have left us, others have stayed and have contributed significantly to the success of Free21.
In this way, we have founded a non-profit association to promote independent reporting, and month after month the number of our supporters has grown. This includes not only more than 150 authors who have agreed to us publishing their texts through licencing. In the meantime, a permanent editorial team has been formed to control and manage our tried-and-tested editorial processes. And our dedicated volunteers – translators, proofreaders, researchers and layouters - contribute to the creation of our well-known PDF documents at their own pace, but/and always with the greatest care.
After 20 issues of the Free21 magazine, I am stepping down for health reasons. That's why this issue is a team effort we have not achieved before. I am proud of this honorary team and glad that the professional journalistic production of texts by independent authors and journalists continues. This is another milestone in our history. And it won't be the last.
We will welcome new, competent comrades-in-arms in the association, who will contribute to the Free21 idea drawing expanding throughout Europe. People from Denmark, England, Austria and Russia will be present.
A small team has already built up in Denmark and the first Danish edition of the magazine appeared in autumn 2017 and met with a very positive response. Here, texts by international authors are translated, researched and laid out - as in our German-language editorial office. The next issue is already in planning. And already in the coming months we will be able to publish more English-language articles.
But for now, I'm glad we’ve got this far so quickly. And for the first time, I am curious like you "only" as a reader to hold this new issue in my hands.
Power to the paper!