Vice Media is launching a new online vertical that won't just cover important issues, but also offer ways to support them.
Called Vice Impact, the platform will offer up editorial that details social, economic and environmental issues. Then through partnerships with a number of nonprofits, Impact will provide the audience with options for how to take action. At launch, Vice has partnered with the organizers behind People's Climate March - the April 29 protest of President Donald Trump's environmental policies - the Sierra Club and the National Center for Transgender Equality.
Leading the effort for Vice are Impact publisher Katherine Keating, a Viceland producer who worked in public policy in Australia, and director of advocacy Nick Carter, who most recently did outreach for Rep. Keith Ellison and previously worked on the campaigns of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.
Keating says Impact has been a year in the making after Vice realized that its audience wanted a way to take action around the issues being covered on the site, its cable channel and its HBO news shows. "We've been producing content around issues that we care about, and our audience cares about, and we were seeing more and more a direct call from our audience," she explains. Adds Carter: "It's quite a natural next step for Vice, and we see a real opportunity to move the needle on some specific issues."
Ahead of the People's Climate March, Impact will publish articles and videos encouraging people to attend the protest. It will also offer programing tied to Gaycation special United We Stand.
Vice will work with brand partners YouTube, Colgate and Ford. For YouTube, Impact will create a series of videos focused on its Creators for Change initiative. Meanwhile, Impact will highlight Colgate's water conservation efforts with three short-form documentaries featuring Michael Phelps, and will team with Ford on programming that emphasizes renewable energy.
Keating notes that Vice will not take profits from the platform. "We really see this as the advocacy arm of Vice," she adds. "We'll invest profits back into the platform or initiatives that we think are appropriate."
Although Impact's efforts will tie in with issues that Vice already covers via its news arm, Carter stresses that the effort will remain separate from other Vice divisions. "We are very aware of the necessity to have a silo between the work of Impact and the other verticals, particularly Vice News," he says. "There is going to be no involvement whatsoever between Impact and News. We're making clear that this is a biased effort with the objective of moving the needle on certain issues."
Impact launches Monday, April 24.