End of year letter from the editor

As the year draws to a close, here’s a brief update on what happened in 2014 and what’s next for The Conversation.

Perhaps most significant event was our launch into the US in October, with a team of nine based at Boston University.

Launching into the world’s largest and most competitive media market is tough, but rich in rewards if we get it right. In its first six weeks TCUS recorded 2.6 million reads (including reads through republication), and it’s increasing every week.

In the UK our team of 18 based at City University London just recorded one of their best months. They also did a superb job covering the Scottish independence referendum. While together we provided seamless coverage of Ebola and Rosetta space mission coverage.

We’ve just released our annual stakeholder report, which shows we continue to double our audience each year. For November we recorded 2.2 million unique visitors and over 10 million reads through republication.

Next year we will announce further expansion, with each new territory funded and run locally but operating under the same Editorial Charter that requires transparency, disclosure of any conflicts and author sign off.

The aim of the global strategy is to tackle the world’s biggest issues from a global perspective, not just Australian. Our current global team of 64 work increasingly as a single virtual newsroom to provide information you can trust and seamless 24/7 coverage. However, each service still has a focus on engaging with the local agenda.

As a not-for-profit but for-public-good journalism project, our content is free for all to access and free for anyone to republish under Creative Commons. But this “public good” journalism model does rely on the support of our 32 university and CSIRO partners, the Department of Education, our technology partner the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, and our legal partner, Corrs Chambers Westgarth. Our thanks to them. We also thank those friends of The Conversation who sent us donations over the year.

Finally, if you’re stuck for a special gift to give a friend or family member, why not just add their email here and they’ll get our daily newsletter. You can even top up your gift by offering the US and UK service. All for free. As the best things in life are …

On behalf of all at TC we want to thank you for your wonderful support over the past year. During the festive season we hope you might even switch off a little from the over-information age. We too will be winding back a little, though we’ll still be publishing, with our normal service resuming in early January.