There are three key elements needed for a news item to exist – the editorial team, the mediawhere it is distributed and of course the news item itself.

Only by supporting all three, and connecting all three, can a viable and credible independent freelance journalism network be created.

After three years in development, our project is now live, having created our “T4” brand software platforms to support and connect all three areas, backed up by a network of support services.

The software includes firstly a database of journalists, secondly a database of news reports and thirdly a database of publishers.

All three include related software services and media partners to help the network grow.

The project so far has been funded by Michael Leidig, who owns the British news agency Central European News (CEN).

His agency has worked for a wide portfolio of diverse news publishers, yet in the increasingly polarised media landscape, working with some publications resulted in online abuse that came to a head with allegations the agency had produced fake news.

Attacking those who might indeed share a different opinion is only further increasing the problem, destroying diversity in the newsrooms where it is vital for different voices to be heard.

Leidig said: “I did not find it acceptable that a freelance journalist writing about the rights of women in Turkey or environmental pollution in Poland can come under attack simply because someone disagrees with the eventual publisher’s stance on something like Scottish independence or Brexit.”

And so the Fourth Estate Alliance project was born to make sure truly independent freelance reporters can have their voices heard.

The journalists in our network guarantee the credibility of the content with their most valuable asset - their names.

The Fourth Estate Alliance is an alternative for the growing numbers of journalists losing their jobs, who instead of joining PR firms to generate sponsored content can come together to continue to create strong, valued journalism.

It aims to be an access to the media for those with stories to be told via our independent journalism community, and for experts with a message that needs to be shared.

The aim is to create a constantly evolving and improving community that is supporting journalism as a profession, setting standards, and combating fake news that harms the reputations of our publishers.

We have taken the first step on a long journey and created a solution that works. We now want to work with others who want to join our network.

The Fourth Estate Alliance. The Independent Reporters Network.

Donations Are Needed To Further Develop Our Vision.

We Need Professional Journalists And Experts To Join Our Network.

We Want Publishers Open to Developing New Relationships With Journalists.