Hoopla asks readers to help pay its writers

hoopla logoIndependent website The Hoopla is asking its readers to help pay its writers. In return The Hoopla is offering to keep them up to date with how the site is doing commercially, including disclosing its advertising income and what it pays its journalists and writers.

The site – which targets middle aged women – was launched by Wendy Harmer in June last year.

Female-focused sites have become a key commercial battleground. earlier this week, Mia Freedman revealed she had been dropped as a columnist by News Limited, suggesting that it was because of the success of her site Mamamia. Fairfax has launched its own offering, Daily Life.

hoopla alexaBecause The Hoopla is unaudited it is hard to tell exactly what traffic it is getting. However the free (and not always accurate) audience assesment service Alexa, suggests The Hoopla is yet to make a breakthrough that would drive major advertising support.

(Update: We’re incorrect to say The Hoopla is unaudited. It is. According to the audit bureau, last month the site delivered 263,707 page impressions and had an average of 3,130 daily unique browsers.)

Harmer has labelled the fund-raising initiative the Friends of The Hoopla Fund. She claimed that disclosing how it goes will be an industry-first. She said: “This may well be an industry first – there are not many companies that are prepared to discuss their finances but we think our supporters deserve transparency as they are directly contributing to our quality independent journalism.”

She said: “The quality of our writing is our number one priority and we know our readers share our appreciation for articles that are feisty, informative, thoughtful, brave and well-written. We are now giving an opportunity for our readers to support the commissioning of original content. We want to pay our journalists and writers more and we want to pay more of them.”

The Hoopla will be sharing details of funds raised from The Friends of The Hoopla; net ad revenue; contribution to journalists & writers; other expenses.

The Hoopla is not the first in Australia to pursue the reader-funded model. Independent analysis site New Matilda asks its readers to make an annual contribution.


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