Posted by Thersites on  UTC 2020-02-10 11:16

How would you like to be given 3.5 meeellion CHF to set up a website? And then a bit more chump change to bring that up to 7.7 meeellion CHF?

That was what happened to the news website Republik, which launched in January 2018.

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Das digitale Magazin für Politik, Wirtschaft, Gesellschaft und Kultur. Finanziert von seinen Leserinnen. Seemingly only read by women.

And what would be your first steps? Stuffed with more money than they had expected, they promptly increased their staff from 10 to 50 people, 36 of them fulltime. Someone to fetch your coffee, mop your fevered brow, walk the office support dog and help fill several floors of an office building etc.

Their yearly burnrate is 6.5 meeellion CHF, which requires at least 27,000 people to sign up (currently 240 CHF a year!) According to their 'cockpit', they currently have 17,219 paid up readers and there are '50 Tage 1 Stunde 43 Minuten' left until that hard-faced lady, Reality, walks into their spacious premises and switches the electricity off.

A couple of months ago they were screaming that they needed another 1.5 meeellion CHF to avoid this lady's visit, which, with a bit of luck, will come sooner rather than later. The Swiss people, of course, have let them down by not giving them enough money, not valuing quality journalism etc.

From the little we have read of theirs and their many mission statements they seem to be self-important, egotistical, hobby-philosopher journalists who believe that the world needs them. They do their own 'fact-checking', so we know what all that is about. They accept sponsorship, but not advertising. This apparently makes them and their opinionising purer, more credible. At 240 CHF they certainly value themselves highly.

Their self-importance is expressed in the extreme length of their articles – almost as long as the stuff in that other Swiss opinion leader Figures of Speech (burnrate 50 CHF in a bad year).

240 CHF is beyond our budget, so we don't know much about their work. But since their business model is rubbish and they have now run out of other people's money (©Margaret Thatcher), we don't need to waste any more time on them.

We might send them a mail and offer them a piece on poor Harry and Meghan. That's what you call real journalism. That'll turn things round for them.

H/t Nourishing Obscurity, who pointed the existence of this site out to us, just in time for its disappearance.

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