News site New Matilda facing second closure next week

New MatildaThe independent political commentary website New Matilda is facing closure for a second time after failing to make enough money to sustain itself.

This afternoon founder Marnie Cordell posted an article on the site saying it is set to close next week because it “can’t afford to compete with our larger competitors for staff and writers”.

She said: “Late last year I decided it was time to hand the site on to the next generation of editors and since January I haven’t been taking a regular wage. Instead, I’ve been investing the income from our paid subscribers into our younger staff, with the hope that this would give NM its best chance of survival into the future.

“However, recently key staff have been poached by outlets that are able to pay much more than we are. That’s put NM in a position that it can’t recover from. It’s time for me to move on to a more stable job. I can’t afford another year.”

Cordell has previously closed down the site in 2010 saying it was not sustainable in the tight ad market, but reopened it four months later after crowdsourcing the funds from readers, a model it has been operating under since.

In the statement she said there is a possibility the site, which will continue to publish through net week’s budget, could be saved if someone comes in with a business proposal. However, she added if that does not happen the site will be archived.

Cordell declined to comment on which other outlets had been poaching her staff, but told Mumbrella: “I’m very thankful to everyone who supported it over the years, including contributors who’ve worked for free as well as paid subscribers and the people who saved us from folding four years ago, it’s just been amazing that we’ve been able to last this long, nearly ten years. I’m appreciative.

“The online environment is getting more crowded and we’ve obviously got a great team and been training people, we’ve fed the new outlets. Because we’ve taken a punt on people who aren’t established, we tend to train them up and then they move onto bigger outlets. It’s a shame that the bigger outlets aren’t able to or aren’t willing to take a punt on new names.

“We’ve launched quite a few careers in our time, I don’t think its a bad thing, it’s a great sign that we’ve had great staff and trained some great people. Over the years it’s happened quite a bit, just recently it’s been a bit of a crunch and it’s hard to re-build.”

On her own future, Cordell said she is currently looking for full-time work and hopes to remain in the online environment.

Alex Hayes and Miranda Ward


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