We are a Public Benefit Cooperative

The Fourth Estate is a public benefit cooperative — created by and for people. This unique hallmark is one of our strengths and one of the reasons for our success, creating a robust and supportive cooperative group.

Our members are those who support our mission, or use our products and services.


It’s a different way of doing business. A co-operative is a jointly owned and democratically controlled enterprise that meets the common economic, social and cultural needs of its members.

Members can be any group of people – customers, employees or residents – or organizations.

There are different co-operatives in different industries around the world. In spite of these differences, there exists a common co-operative identity that the International Co-operative Alliance has summarized in seven principles shared by co-operatives globally. From these Fourth Estate has drafted our interpretation:


Open and Voluntary Membership

Membership in the Fourth Estate is open to all entities and persons able to benefit and use our services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership.


Democratic Member Control

Our equity-holding members contribute to and democratically control the organization.


Members’ Economic Participation

The economic benefits of the Fourth Estate’s operations are used to further our mission or are returned to the members, reinvested, and/or used to expand or provide services.


Autonomy and Independence

We are guided first by our mission and controlled by our equity-members. As a matter of policy, funding sources exercise no control over the Fourth Estate’s editorial decisions.


Education, Training and Information

We serve all stakeholders of the journalism ecosystem from news creators to those that consume the news by providing the information and services needed to effectively and efficiently fulfill our mission.


Cooperation Among Cooperatives

We serve our members and society most effectively by working cooperatively at the local, national, regional and international levels.


Concern for Community

We equip people with the news and information they need to make wise decisions about their lives, their communities, their societies, and their governments.

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