One year ago today five (as we then were) longtime Guardian readers who were being repeatedly censored in and banished from the ironically titled “Comment is Free” sections, got together to create an outlet where they could express themselves freely.
We started with no hopes of a large audience, and mostly we were posting for ourselves, for other censored users of CiF and for the record. To begin with we were getting just a few hundred visitors a week, if that. But – astonishingly – we seemed to strike a chord with many people out there, and our visitors quite quickly began to increase beyond anything we had imagined possible. By early April we were getting thousands – sometimes tens of thousands – of people a day coming to our small website. Those numbers received a large hit when we were forced to re-locate but they recovered, and – thanks in part to the support of wonderful websites like Russian Insider (who have shared so much of our material) and Media Lens – we are a small but thriving voice in the alternate media.
OffG has assumed a place in the lives of the three remaining original founders – and our regular contributors – we could never have foreseen 12 months ago. It’s been hard -even exhausting – work. We are still entirely unfunded and 100% voluntary, so everything we do has to be slotted around work and family and other considerations. There’s been a lot less free time, but the journey has been fascinating, and well worth it.
We take it as an achievement that the Guardian has recently made it clear it will ban people from commenting if they link to OffG, because we make – in their own words – “statements of fact regarding our journalists credibility.”
You see. It’s official. The Graun no longer has any time for statements of fact.
They just spoil the narrative.
We’re not sure which of our Guardian critiques finally pushed them to this. But we like to think it was our portrait of their star Russia Analyst Luke Harding. The man who called Berezovsky “Mr Banana” in order to foil the FSB.
Thanks to all of you out there who support us with your contributions, and your readership. It’s because enough people care about freedom of opinion, suppressed narratives and media integrity that sites such as ours can thrive. Let’s hope we can keep going and thriving for another year.
Happy Birthday to us.
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Congratulations Offguardian on your first birthday! I just found your website when googling ‘I hate the guardian. Like so many others, I finally became fed up with the Guardian as became more and more neo-liberal. The extreme bias against Russia in the Ukraine conflict, the Jeremy Corbyn bashing, pro-Israel bias, etc. What I hate about the Guardian is that it acts ‘progressive’ but is actually neo-liberal. America’s NPR does the same trick. It fools some self identified liberals, but not those who are paying attention. Keep up the good work, keep exposing the lies and misinformation the Guardian propaganda bullhorn keeps spouting!
Happy Birthday, OffGuardian! You make me laugh every time I come here, and thanks for the emotional, gritty and humourous writing. This is a great resource, and I have to say it makes me wonder what the Graun’s stable of bedwetters and inbreeders are getting paid for, since you are getting nothing and producing a better paper. Oh, except that you don’t have any celebrity gossip and Page 3 titties.
I was kidding about that last part. Please do not advertise for a celebrity gossip writer. That’s the stuff only Guardian readers read.
Congratulations on your birthday. I just told the Off-Guardian story on Truthdig and one guy commented that he had already been over here. He thanked me. Thank you guys.
Happy Birthday to Off G.
And in that year the Grauniad has managed to lower itself even more.
I’ve been booted yet again from CiF just recently. They seem to be on a purging crusade again.
It seems to me that a at least a few of the more obnoxious right wing trolls that populate the btl discussions are employed by the Grauniad itself.
Soon it will be just the bots talking amongst themselves.
I remember reading you people at CiF. I enjoyed reading you there and I enjoy even more to see what you have done with this site. Congratulations, happy birthday.
Please give us much more!
Happy Birthday! And thank you so much for providing space to those who feel so betrayed by The Guardian to air their views and opinions freely.
Reblogged this on Siem Reap Mirror.
As a Guardian reader of 40+yrs I am so bloody angry at what has become of my once proud paper,it is no longer our paper,the unspoken fraternity one felt when meeting a fellow reader has gone.
Who appointed these destroyers ? Those pygmies of self interest,the Blairs of journalism,the betrayers of the Scott Trust.
OffG has become the forum of fellow mourners at the funeral of the Fourth Estate and now we must all herald it’s successor the fifth estates: independent online progressive news sites.
Thank you OffG…….tho I still miss the physical touch of paper !
Keep up the good fight
It’s a consistently useful site, thanks for your good work!
Reblogged this on wgrovedotnet.
Congratulations. Funnily enough Facebook just invited me to share a 3 year old memory, which constituted my official ‘divorce’ from Guardian readership. So I beat you guys to the pip, but I didn’t have the excellent idea to start a blog.
Good luck over the coming years and I hope you get to 3 as well!
Happy birthday and many happy returns of the day. Roger Temple
Thanks for the work you do. Off-G is a great source for an alternative viewpoint, especially considering how very low the standards at the Guardian have sunken.
… And maaaannnnyyyyy more!!!! 🙂
Happy birthday, Off-Graun! Many, many more…
Happy Birthday to you….I have come to enjoy enormously the Off-Guardiian columns and such a welcome alternative media. As a long term reader of The Guardian (although increasingly disenchanted) it is so great to present an alternative argument when in debate to that which is being constantly being churned out by the Guardian and other mainstream media.
A big thank you to Off-Guardiian and long may you keep going.