what we do
Narrative journalism combines the standards and goals of journalistic reporting with the devices of literature. That’s a powerful thing. Narrative journalism peers deeply, like a good novel, into what it is to be human. Like beautiful music, it can put a chill in your spine or tears in your eyes. And while there are truths in all art, narrative journalism is, by definition, true.
Starting Nov. 18, Latterly will begin publishing this kind of storytelling, with four pieces each month from all over the world. You won’t find sensationalism. No ads, either. Just really compelling stories.
Latterly is different from other digital magazines. We never refer to our stories and photographs as “content,” and they are not our “product” — terms that commoditize the life stories of our subjects. Journalism isn’t our “passion project”; it is our raison d’être. And while other digital journalism startups depend on free labor, we are paying our journalists from Day One.
Most importantly, we don’t care about clicks. We won’t monitor our traffic. Because of our unique ad-free, community-based model, we only care about two things: the stories, and our community of journalists and readers. That’s you.
how it works
Our model is simple. Anyone can read one story for free. Subscribers pay just $3 per month or $8 every three months. In return, they’ll receive complete access to the stories they’ve funded and to a subscribers-only community page.
Narrative journalism is expensive, and so are the striking photographs we’ll deliver in each issue. Even straightforward stories can cost thousands of dollars to produce. Traditional media, which depend heavily on advertising, are withering under their failing revenue models. And most digital publications aren’t paying their journalists fairly. Unless something changes soon, journalists will stop telling important stories.
This is Latterly’s mission — to keep this work alive.
During the first several months, Latterly is investing 100 percent of its revenue back into the journalism. We are not a nonprofit, but for-profit doesn’t seem to fit, either. We don’t have investors; we have subscribers and donors. And periodically, as other publications have done, we will publish our finances so that anyone can see where each dollar goes.
who we are
Latterly would not be possible without extraordinary people. First, there are the subjects of our stories, who accept great personal risks by boldly sharing their inner lives with the public. Our subscribers are the reason Latterly exists. They are people who care about making a better future through the power of stories. Our journalists and photojournalists illuminate the hidden corners of our world with their art.
Latterly was created by freelance journalist Ben Wolford and Christina Asencio, a human rights lawyer. Ben grew up in Ohio and has contributed to The New York Times and Newsweek. Christina, whose advocacy helps refugees and immigrants, grew up in Miami. They now live in Bangkok. You can read more about them here.