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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Independent writers are joining forces to create networks of shared resources to make it easier to strike out on their own.

Why it matters: Writer collectives create a sweet spot for journalists and pundits looking for the support of peers but more autonomy than a traditional newsroom offers.

Driving the news: A group of tech, media and culture writers recently launched Sidechannel, a server on the chat platform Discord. The group shares exclusive content with subscribers to the writers' individual newsletters.

  • Yesterday, Casey Newton, author of the Platformer tech newsletter and a member of the group, hosted Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg for a live chat on the platform.

The big picture: Other writer collectives are gaining momentum as the creator economy grows stronger.

Every, a newsletter bundle that launched on Substack last year but has since moved to its own platform, has 12 publications and 21 writers.

  • The collective splits pay between the writers based on reader surveys that indicate who they sign-up to read, co-founder Nathan Baschez, a Substack alum, tells Axios.
  • Baschez co-founded the collective with Dan Shipper, an enterprise software entrepreneur. The collective has 2,400 subscribers paying $200 per year.

Study Hall, a subscription newsletter, listserv, and digital community for the media industry, relaunched in 2018 and now has over 6,000 subscribers, co-founder Kyle Chayka tells Axios. Chayka launched Study Hall in 2015 with P.E. Moskowitz as a co-working space.

The bottom line: "The personality cult model isn't the only viable model," Chayka says. "The goal of this is to show that newsletters and small-scale media operations aren't just one person."

Go deeper: Substack is raising $65 million amid newsletter boom

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - World

500 Hong Kong police officers raid pro-democracy newspaper

Chief Operations Officer Chow Tat Kuen (front 2nd R) is escorted by police from the Apple Daily newspaper offices before being put into a waiting vehicle in Hong Kong on Thursday. Photo: Anthony Wallace/AFP via Getty Images

Hong Kong's Apple Daily said 500 police officers searched the pro-democracy newspaper's offices and arrested five senior executives on Thursday.

Why it matters: The arrests of the paper's chief editor, Ryan Law, along with its chief operating officer, two other editors and the CEO of Next Digital, which operates Apple Daily, were made under China's national security law — which gives the government broad power to limit people's political freedom.

World Bank rejects El Salvador's request to help implement bitcoin

President Nayib Bukele, giving a speech in El Salvador's legislative assembly in San Salvado earlier this month, pushed for bitcoin to become legal tender. Photo: Emerson Flores/APHOTOGRAFIA/Getty Images

The World Bank has rejected the government of El Salvador's request to help the country implement Bitcoin as legal tender, Reuters first reported late Wednesday.

Why it matters: The international lender's rejection could hamper the government's goal of making the digital currency accepted across the country within three months.

Updated 5 hours ago - Science

China launches first astronauts to new space station

The manned Shenzhou-12 spacecraft from China's Manned Space Agency onboard the Long March-2F rocket launches at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Jiuquan, Gansu province, China, on Thursday morning Beijing time. Photo: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

China's Shenzhou 12 mission carrying three astronauts launched into orbit on Thursday morning Beijing time.

Why it matters: Astronauts Nie Haisheng, Liu Boming and Tang Hongbo are set to occupy China's new space station. This will be the country's longest crewed space mission ever and the first in almost five years.