Gay Star News have blamed financial uncertainty because of Britain’s planned exit from the European Union and tokenism by corporate advertisers for the collapse of the global LGBTQI news service.
Founded in 2011 by Tris Reid-Smith and Scott Nunn, the global LGBTQI news website grew to having a Facebook audience of over 800,000, making it the most read LGBTQI news source on the planet.
However, despite capturing such a big audience, the website struggled to be financially viable and often struggled to attract advertisers and partners from outside of the UK.
“It has always been a tough business,” Reid-Smith and Nunn wrote in a final post on the website earlier today, “This year, it got unexpectedly much tougher.”
“We entered 2019 with every reason to be confident we were going to have a strong year. But as the year progressed, decisions have been delayed and projects people had committed to do with us have fallen flat.”
“The biggest change was the level of confidence brands and businesses in the UK have, due to the uncertainty over Brexit. It won’t surprise anyone to hear that many media organisations are struggling with the same problem.”
However they said that corporate brands that were prepared to pink-wash themselves during Pride, but were unwilling to support LGBTQI community media at other times of the year, had also proved a challenge.
“There has also been another trend which has become more apparent this year,” they wrote, “Brands which are wishing to ‘do’ LGBTI work are increasingly doing so in a tokenistic way.”
“Rather than working with us to engage and serve LGBTI people year round, many have chosen to ‘rainbow wash’. They have turned their logo rainbow colored for Pride week or month and – at best – made a small donation to an LGBTI good cause.”
“Worst still, we have learned that some brands have done this while at the same time funding anti-LGBTI politicians to the tune of millions of dollars. Tokenism has reached a new low.”
It is unknown whether Gay Star News will be sold to another publisher at this stage but Reid-Smith and Nunn say the website is no longer being updated.