Wednesday, July 29th, 2015

When I was a kid – and gullible enough to take biblical stories literally – I was deeply impressed by the story of David and Goliath. Even now the notion that a shepherd boy with his slingshot and stones could defeat the giant armoured warrior Goliath still resonates in my work in independent media.

NI Android App

NI Android App

But in challenging the distortions and commercial bias of the mainstream media giants, it’s fortunate we have brilliant techie tools to use instead of slingshot and stones.

So it’s a huge pleasure for our Co-op to be launching our shiny new Android App for subscribers to the New Internationalist magazine, the magazine that explains – and campaigns on – the big global issues of our time. It’s a huge achievement for our tiny team to have produced in-house all the world-class digital services that our supporters need, so that they can read the magazine in whatever format they prefer.

The New Internationalist magazine has won the annual global Independent Media Award for “Best International Coverage” nine times, so the fact that digital subscribers gain access to all the magazines from the past six years is an important bonus, both for research and for gaining a fresh insight into the backstory of current events.

Archive covers 6 years

Archive covers 6 years

The release of the Android App on the Google Play Store is the culmination of a three-year development effort. Read more on our blog at and see more about our special celebration deals for new subscribers at  The YouTube video embedded with this release was made a couple years ago when we first started building our new mobile Apps, and needed crowdfunding support. We've come a long way.

Brian Loffler - for the New Internationalist Co-op


Q&A with the App Developer (adapted from a Gizmodo Australia Q&A)

What makes New Internationalist Apps different?
We've demonstrated that even a very small independent media organisation like us - a not-for-profit fair trade organisation that's run as a co-operative - can produce quality Apps that make it convenient and pleasurable for our subscribers to read our content. Making great use of open-source tools enables us to get our quality journalism out to a new generation of readers.
What challenges did you face when you were developing and how did you overcome them?
Very limited - and shrinking - budget. We worked with an experienced programmer to pair-program around the more difficult software challenges.
We had to do crowd-funding to enable us to create our first mobile App for iOS devices.
I'm responsible for both design and tech development, including:
- website
- printed catalogues
- online shop
- Apps
so distractions from other duties are a challenge when writing code. We overcame this through great team-work among our small co-op of five people.
What platforms do you develop for?
What are you working on right now?
Having completed coding for the Android App, and integrating it with our online App, I'm now about to start work on our next print catalogue of fair trade goods - just for something completely different.
How has the rise of App Stores influenced your work?
The App Stores are both a huge benefit and a real pain for small independent companies like ours. The benefit is the well-organised framework for developers. The pain is the enormous challenge in being noticed among the vast number of available Apps. Fortunately income from digital subscriptions is the growth area for the New Internationalist magazine, so we must be doing something right.
What’s your favourite app that you didn’t create?
Orbot. Tor for mobile devices!
What phone do you use? Why?
iPhone 5 and Nexus 4. Both still very capable devices and still get the latest security updates. Being mindful of the resources that go into a phone, I don't always upgrade immediately.
What advice do you have for budding Aussie developers out there?
Don't be intimidated; just start building.
Who are you?
I'm @sighmon on the internet


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New Internationalist Publications Pty Ltd

The New Internationalist is an independent monthly not-for-profit magazine that reports on action for global justice. We believe in putting people before profit, in climate justice, tax justice, equality, social responsibility and human rights for all. We support minority groups and producers by selling their fair trade and organic products in our shop, and also like to blog and keep you in the loop via monthly email newsletters.
Brian Loffler
P: 0882321563
M: 0407974654


android app,digital magazine,new internationalist magazine,global justice,human rights,climate justice,climate change,capitalism,equality




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