The Conversation, a new independent news and topical analysis website written by the UK’s academic community, has just launched in the UK.
The website has already made an impact in Australia, where it was launched in 2011 by former Observer, Big Issue and Melbourne Age editor, Andrew Jaspan. Since then it has grown to become Australia’s largest independent news and commentary site, with a reputation for evidence-based journalism.
Carrying a mixture of topical analysis and features the content is largely written by academic experts, working with a team of editors based in London. The site’s overall aim is to encourage a free flow of information and contribute to the understanding of current affairs and complex issues.
Authors may only write about subjects on which they have proven expertise, and are asked to sign up to an editorial charter and code of ethics, which compels them to disclose any funding or potential conflicts of interest. Contributing academics are able to sign off the article and the headline prior to publishing.
The website operates an open-access model, which means its content is free to be replicated elsewhere under Creative Commons licensing. Currently, 70% of the Australian site’s articles are republished in other outlets.
The Conversation UK is a not-for-profit organisation but has already secured funding from 13 universities as well as the higher education funding councils, the Wellcome Trust and the Nuffield Foundation.
A beta version of the site went live today (16 May 2013) and is available to view at theconversation.com/uk.