ARTICLE: Profitable is not the same as sustainable

Untitled by Skitterphoto, licence CC0 1.0

Defining the “sustainability” of news ventures on the basis of their financial profitability may be misleading, writes Naomi Sakr, of University of Westminster. Sakr interviewed the staff of three Egyptian news start-ups and researched relevant documents, both internal and external. The three companies, Mada Masr, Mantiqti and Welad Elbalad were all founded between 2013 and 2015, and so faced a difficult environment to grow in.

The financial sustainability of all three companies is questionable, the author finds. Their seemingly ill-advised practices may, however, be laying the foundation to a stable future for both the company and the surrounding civil society. Thus, “sustainability” should not be based on only an assessment of economic status, but also of journalistic integrity, Sakr argues.

The article Survival or sustainability? was published by the Journal of Media Business Studies. It is available online (abstract free).

Picture: Untitled by Skitterphoto, licence CC0 1.0.

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