Lede by Alley

Design, Technology, and Marketing for Subscription Media Startups

Lede is a groundbreaking publishing platform and growth program designed to support the next generation of journalism startups and news media. Lede’s partner organizations share a common vision for subscription-driven journalism, more informed and vibrant communities, and industry-leading publishing software. They enjoy the benefits of shared technology and services while retaining total ownership over their business, content, and audience.


We are strategists, researchers, designers, and developers dedicated to a collaborative and equitable future.

Learn More
Get in touch

Alley partnered with Defector Media to launch Lede as a program and platform.

Defector desktop
Defector mobile


Lede is designed to support startup news organizations, and legacy publishers making a full pivot to a membership model who can participate in all aspects of our program. You do not need a technology expert or a project manager to work with Lede; we are happy to work directly with writers and editors.

  • Audience development resources and tools to grow memberships and revenue
  • Strategy and support for a robust revenue model that can encompass advertising, podcasts, events, and merchandise
  • Custom visual design for your brand built on best-practice UX patterns
  • WordPress-powered publishing platform hosted by WordPress VIP
  • Membership management and CRM from our partners at Pico
  • Commenting powered by Coral and integrated with Pico
  • Email marketing and newsletters via Mailchimp
Pico paywall example
Wordpress VIP

Publishers on Lede

Independent talent vehicles:

  • Report on topics are of high interest or covered from a unique perspective
  • Comprised of journalists with an existing audience who want to start a new publication
  • Serve a national or global audience

Local news outfits:

  • Owned and operated by journalists with experience in a local market
  • In most markets, designed to become a primary news source for the community
  • In large markets, neighborhood-oriented or topic-driven

Publishers who are not the right fit for Lede or want to explore other options besides Lede should reach out to us at Alley.