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API este semnatară a Codului Deontologic al jurnalistului din R. Moldova.

API este membru al Asociației Mondiale a Ziarelor și a Producătorilor de Știri

(World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers - WAN/IFRA)

Ştiri API
In ‘Boxing Ring’, To Become Financially Sustainable

The diversification of funding sources has become a daily concern of media managers who want to ensure the financial sustainability of newsrooms. To reduce dependence on traditional income sources, which do not guarantee long-term stability, some media outlets are trying to access non-traditional sources of income. During the "Crowdfunding or How We Plan to Generate Revenue from Readers" Webinar at the end of April, the beneficiaries of the Center for Consulting and Assistance to Regional Independent Media Outlets learned more about the platforms and tools for raising funds from the public.

The facilitator of the workshop Irina Ghelbur, consultant in media management and advertising within the Consulting and Assistance Center, mentioned that, until recently, media managers did not believe that readers could financially support an editorial office. She gave the example of the Latvian online platform Meduza.io, which focuses on the Russian public. Following certain restrictions imposed on media sources by the Kremlin, all advertising providers canceled their contracts with this portal, which thus found itself on the verge of bankruptcy. To survive, the newsroom had to rely on the support of the readers. Irina also referred to the vulnerability of Moldovan media outlets: “Since 2018, the Agora.md portal has made profit, from advertising sales and grants. However, we do not have a safeguard of sustainability because we are vulnerable. If one day these sources disappeared, we would be left with no budget. That is why we focus on the consumers who can become an important source of income, thus ensuring our editorial independence. We found ourselves in a ‘boxing ring’ with the advertising providers, grant donors and social media who have their own requirements, which often do not coincide with our development vision. How do we get out of this boxing ring where the rules are dictated by others? The solution is to go where nobody boxes i.e. to our readers.” 

Next, the expert referred to the tools that can be used to raise funds from readers, detailing what steps need to be taken and what the advantages and potential challenges are. "Creating an account on Patreon (donation and support platform) is one of the simplest solutions. There are a few moments to consider: description of the outlet, composition of benefit packages for employers (for ex. access to newsletter, exclusive content, a personalized T-shirt, etc.), constant communication on the Patreon page about the activities, plans and people of the outlet, integrating the link from the Patreon page to the website and social networks so that readers can see that they can support the newsroom. For “Membership” systems, such platforms can be created and integrated as: https://steadyhq.com/en, https://memberful.com, and for the crowdfunding campaigns – https://sprijina.md, https://www.gofundme.com, https://www.indiegogo.com and others.

Journalists Luminița Chihai and Simona Tabuncic from Ziarul de Gardă shared their experience in this field. "We have been implementing the Patreon platform for some time, where we already have 144 subscribers. I really liked Irina's idea of having more messages urging readers to access Patreon. We also have several messages of this kind but they are not integrated in our investigations or interviews, as Irina recommends. At today's training, I became convinced once again that we need to work more in this sense," Simona Tabuncic says. Her colleague Luminița Chihai adds: “Indeed, it is very important to constantly communicate with those who support us, to send them personalized messages. We are very happy when, after a longer communication, they increase their support packages, so we get extra income."

Full webinar registration is available HERE.

Between August 2020 and April 2021, other 11 thematic webinars were held at the Consulting and Assistance Center for the staff of independent regional media. In April 2021, the services of the Center’s consultants benefited a total of 43 staff from 21 newsrooms, and in the past nine months – 456 media professionals.

The Consulting and Assistance Center for regional independent media outlets will operate until July 2021, and newsrooms are urged to use the services of consultants whenever needed, by accessing the application on the website Api.md. 

The project ”Program of Assistance for Independent Regional Media Outlets” is implemented by the Association of Independent Press Association (API) and funded by the US Embassy in the Republic of Moldova. The opinions expressed within the project belong to the authors of the project and do not necessarily correspond to those of the US Embassy.

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