The people who are in power over media companies present one of the biggest challenges in the industry today, says Miriam Walther, managing director at Republik.
Speaking at INMA Media Innovation Week in Hamburg, Germany, Walther said a related challenge is the advertising revenue model.
“I do believe that advertising is an important thing, but it really distracts from what journalism actually is at the core, which is speak truth to power. If you can’t be able to be independent and criticize, then it gets very hard.”
Walther added that people need to remember journalists are regular civilians who are writing to uphold democracy: “We all want that, I hope.”
Republik’s reader revenue business model, on the other hand, is working well. Walther accredits this success to the people, the readers.
“We can only do it with you [the reader], and if you are not there, and if you don’t want that journalism, we can’t do it. So we are a very people focused business model. We have no other partners.”
This relationship is so important that Republik actually calls its readers the “publishers.”