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Martin Jönsson: The Guardian's figures give hope for journalism

When I for a number of years ago, met Liz Forgan, the former chair of the Scott Trust which owns The Guardian and systertidningen The Observer, I asked her how long the foundation's money would be enough to finance the bleeding the newspaper. ”A long time”, she replied. But added quickly: ”but not if the losses continue at this pace”.

News & Media about a million pounds. In a week. For the past nine years, the company has gone with about 4.2 million of the loss. Therefore, it was a great branschnyhet when the company the other day announced that the profit of the financial year 2018-19. A small profit indeed, just over 10 million - and in practice, it is still not in the black, because the financial records are still leading to a substantial minus. But the symbolism has not gone any by. By The Guardian showed positive figures was in 1998, as editor-in-chief Katharine Wines have all the reasons to rejoice.

Three things are particularly positive for the person who hopes that the magazine's financial future should now be more stable. A: the revenues are the highest in ten years. Two: the costs are the lowest in almost as many years, thanks to several years of hard savings on everything from newsprint to the staff. Three: the newspaper has reduced its advertising-driven, and instead received new läsarintäkter – no need to lock the site's contents.

Alan Rusbridger was a strong opponent to the betalväggar on tidningssajter and Wines has pushed the line further, but with one big difference: instead call for voluntary contributions. Today, the newspaper has 655 000 monthly donors and a further 300 000 people have given one-time grant. The goal is to more than double the volume the next three years.

The Guardian is not alone in betting on the member and bidragsspåret. In Sweden the site Blankspot with the same model and in the Uk, was launched recently the site Tortoise of several heavy medieprofiler, with the idea of ”slow journalism” beyond the bustle of the news feed, a medlemsfinansiering and a strong participation in the discussion and the editorial call for anyone who chooses to become a member.

is far from simple to realize. But The Guardian's success at least shows that there are several different ways to build a working business model. And that quality is the very best säljargumentet in a hard-pressed mediebransch.

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