We are an editorially independent politics and culture magazine with a campaigning heart.
The Lead is a micro-mag: a lean, mean site on politics, culture, and everything in between. We cover the sharp angles that define our life in the UK today: poverty, racism, climate change, corporate and government malfeasance, the breakdown of our healthcare system and the fracturing of the state.
So far, so worthy. Most decent media aspires to do the same. But our aim is not just to inform: it’s to restore agency. We are launching in a period of simmering discontent, cascading economic crises, a swelling environmental emergency and deep political stagnation. We’re all bombarded by bad news pretty much everywhere we look, and each of us takes part, actively or passively, in the disconsolate social media hum that this news produces.
The more these crises grow, the less in control we feel. 99 percent of us weren’t allowed a say in electing our previous prime minister, and 0% of us were given a vote in choosing the one after that. Our economy is being wrecked, but our right to protest is being legislated away. Even our right to boycott products is called into question, and as for the freedom of speech — you’ve all seen what happened to even the most polite of protesters against the monarchy. Real-life dissent is being stifled — and online outrage without a path to action amounts to little more than static.
Our aim here at The Lead is to convert this static into energy. We’ll lean hard into organising open letters, campaigns and, while it’s still legal, direct action. We won’t have a comment section — if we've got something to say, we might as well go out and do something. We’ll do our best to keep you up to speed with actions and the motivations behind them — irrespective of who you vote for, if you vote at all. Faced with the prospect of another decade of Tory rule, we can’t afford to be territorial or precious.
Alongside all this we will be covering the stuff worth living for: things to read, things to see, things to listen to and watch, things to eat and feel. As we grow, we’ll host events to scratch all these itches (sign up below to find out first). Focusing only on the fight is the road to burnout: we’re here for the long run to debate, agitate and celebrate. Or, as a late, great friend once said “theorise, mobilise, moisturise”. We hope that you join us.
Dimi Reider is a journalist, editor and facilitator. He is a co-founder of +972 Magazine, and his writing has appeared everywhere from The New York Times to Haaretz and from Foreign Affairs to the London Review of Books. He also spent some time as a senior editor at Newsweek, but he doesn't like to talk about it much.
Leah Borromeo is an award-winning documentary director and journalist with roots in international current affairs. Their film The Mortician of Manila has won over 20 awards around the world and was long-listed for an Academy Award. Leah became a former deputy foreign editor at Sky News after driving an armoured personnel carrier into the City of London during the 2009 G20 protests.
Natalie Morris is a journalist, podcast host, and the author of Mixed/Other - covering stories concerning social justice, inequality, lifestyle, health and wellbeing, and everything in-between. Mancunian living in London.
Got a story to tell? Want to scream something from the rooftops? We accept submissions for features, long-reads, essays and op-eds. Pitch to us at [email protected].
The Lead is published by Scram Media Ltd, company number 11736030.