Quite an epic move in the blogosphere. From Sullivan’s blog, that has been hosted at The Daily Beast for the past two years:
As we contemplated the end of our contract with the Beast at the end of 2012, we faced a decision. As usual, we sought your input and the blogosphere’s – hence the not-terribly subtle thread that explored whether online readers will ever pay for content, and how. The answer is: no one really knows. But as we debated and discussed that unknowable future, we felt more and more that getting readers to pay a small amount for content was the only truly solid future for online journalism. And since the Dish has, from its beginnings, attempted to pioneer exactly such a solid future for web journalism, we also felt we almost had a duty to try and see if we could help break some new ground.
The only completely clear and transparent way to do this, we concluded, was to become totally independent of other media entities and rely entirely on you for our salaries, health insurance, and legal, technological and accounting expenses…..
And so last week, the three of us signed an agreement setting up an independent company called Dish Publishing LLC, and agreed to strike out on our own with no safety net below us but you.
This is a brave move, and I think an important one for independent media. The internet allows publishers to have a direct relationship with readers, and with technological advances in pay walls and financial transaction software, it is easier than ever to set up shop by yourself and become an independently viable outlet (provided you have the stamina to put the work in). We’re looking at different models here at The Daily Banter going forward, with the primary objective being as much independence as possible. Sullivan, alongside other sites like Talking Points Memo and the New York Times are paving the way for the new era of publishing in the digital age, and providing a good deal of hope for outlets such as our own.
Bravo Andrew. And good luck.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.