New Feeling banner designed by Paterson Hodgson
Our intent is to not only serve Canadian music journalists and writers, but our readers and music community, which means New Feeling is a multi-stakeholder cooperative. We believe this membership structure will help garner trust, make us accountable to more than ourselves, and strengthen our organization by incorporating a multitude of voices and interests.
We have proposed that membership of our cooperative is organized into four distinct stakeholder groups:
- Organizing members – These are the founders of New Feeling and anyone else who joins the cooperative to become involved with its operation and organization.
- Writer members – This group represents individuals who are welcome to join the cooperative after having written for New Feeling for a to-be-determined amount of time.
- Community members – This group represents our readers, community, and wider public. Folks not interested in writing or organizing but who have a stake in our work and sustainability.
- Advisory members – Much like those in Community, Advisory members are looking for a way to support the co-op, but might have more experience or more resources to help us along.
As this structure is still being developed as we head toward incorporation and our first annual general meeting, these categories are subject to change over the next few months.
New Feeling is made up of smaller working groups with memberships and leadership that can rotate out on a quarterly basis to share responsibility, experience and to keep the organization as horizontal as possible. We have no bosses and no managers, so the finer details that a person in that position would normally think about and delegate are lost in our horizontal structure unless we think about them ourselves.
We established six working groups to start to provide clarity around roles/responsibilities for each member of the group. These groups are not set in stone– if one becomes unnecessary we can phase it out, and we can create new ones as needs emerge. Everything is still new, so we’re still hashing out how these groups function and learning about what works for us and what doesn’t. We do most of our organizing and meeting on our team Discord server.
- Community: Comes up with ways to keep in touch with our audience and proactively reach out to new communities with whom we’d like to forge relationships with. This group is also responsible for managing our social media accounts, and (if the world ever allows for it) in person events/ gatherings.
- Editorial: Makes decisions on editorial policy, sets monthly issue themes, assigns stories, carries out copy editing, fact checking, and ensuring our editorial perspective is consistent with the values of New Feeling.
- Equity/care: Forming policy around what equity within the organization looks like in practice, the distribution of care labour among members, and putting into place a conflict resolution process.
- Fundraising/Budget: Looking into funding opportunities for New Feeling as well as making sure those opportunities are reflective of our needs. Responsible for overall budget transparency to the co-op and public.
- Organization/Board: This group is in charge of forming, organizing, and communicating with our Steering Committee, which will help us formalize our values and policies and help us elect a Permanent Board.
- Web: Contemplating and designing the ins and outs of our website, and how it looks and functions.
In September of 2020, we formed a 7 person Steering Committee to aid in the process of ironing out the details of what, exactly, New Feeling will look like, and how it will operate. That includes the future of the New Feeling Board. As we launch and develop, we expect the nature of the Board and the various duties involved in Board membership to change as well, but as a cooperative we know that we will look to our board as a body of community-minded individuals for us to be accountable to, who can help guide the platform and ensure it’s doing what it’s setting out to do. The Steering Committee help the New Feeling team flesh out the roles and responsibilities of the Board. There will also be opportunities for members of the Steering Committee to transition to the Permanent Board via election when we’re ready to have our first annual general meeting.
The Steering Committee has been an instrumental part of New Feeling’s development and growth, as they have been our first set of eyes outside the cooperative on all of our policies, from our financial plan to our bylaws.