FIPP WORLD MEDIA CONGRESS 2023/Rapid-Round Congress Q&A: Styli Charalambous, CEO and co-founder of Daily Maverick.. HomeSCHEDULEAGENDA DAY 1AGENDA DAY 2SPEAKERSPartnersVenueNewsGalleryGet TicketsSold Out Author: AshleyPosted: 11th Apr 2023 (Updated: 19th Apr 2023) Blog navigationPrevious Blog: Rapid-Round Congress Q&A: Jacqueline Loch, EVP Social & Emerging Platforms, SJC MediaNext Blog: The key strategy issues that media leaders are focusing on... The Di5ru.pt blog Life can sometimes be challenging for the South African media brand Daily Maverick. Not only does it operate in a media sector that has shrunk by 2/3rds since it began publishing 14 years ago, but its management team is acutely aware of having to balance generating paid-for revenue with attracting as large an audience as possible to counter disinformation. Styli Charalambous, the company’s CEO and co-founder is a champion of the membership model which brings paid-for revenue but means the company remains inclusive in the reach of its stories. In this interview Styli talks about: How Daily Maverick has been behind some of the significant investigations in South Africa’s post-democratic era How we need to create a healthier and more supportive regulatory environment that encourages reader support and tax incentives to invest in public interest media Why AI will create opportunities for media companies across the globe and not just in the major markets At FIPP World Media Congress in Cascais, Portugal, on 6-8 June, Styli will be part of a panel discussing Strategies for navigating through market turmoil toward a brighter future For specially discounted tickets click here. Here he responds to our rapid-round questions. Who are you? And what is your role in the media/publishing? Styli Charalambous, CEO and co-founder of Daily Maverick. An independent news and investigative journalism outfit based in South Africa. My role focuses on a few things, namely: Guiding the organisation through industry disruption, challenges and opportunities, Charting and managing our growth as we become a bigger more mature organisation Coaching and developing our leadership team’s depth and experience What have been the highlights of your career in media/publishing so far? We’ve published some of the most significant investigations in South Africa’s post-democratic era that have changed the country’s course. Having a front-row seat and watching history being made has been special. Growing the business and creating new jobs in a difficult environment is another highlight, considering we operate in a media sector that has shrunk by 2/3rds since we began publishing. I’d also rank creating a successful membership model that has changed so much of how we operate, from generating revenue to creating more engaged journalism. What do you see as the three key trends in the media? Membership as an alternative reader revenue model yields more benefits than just financial. It’s much harder than operating a paywall but can be more rewarding too. AI’s democratisation of technology for smaller players and the opportunities it holds, alongside the risk any big disruption can bring Monetising the social impact of journalism. Sustainability remains a key issue for public interest journalism; how can we improve the environment in which we operate? Why are these trends important and how will they change media/publishing? If paywalls keep great content for a fraction of society, and mis- and disinformation are free, we run a risk that we will never make a dent in addressing the problem. In Africa, we need alternative models to ensure even the poor have access to excellent journalism and membership is one way to do that. AI offers large-scale opportunities in every part of the journalistic and publishing process for those willing to dive in. Smart, ethical use of AI can help smaller publishers deliver products and services that only the big players could afford. It’s going to change everything, so we need to lean in to opportunities and not only focus on the risks To address sustainability, we need to address multiple aspects of the environment we operate in, and not just our ability to generate income. We need a healthier and more supportive regulatory environment that encourages reader support and tax incentives to invest in public interest media. If journalism is a public good, how can we better reconcile the support of the media with those who are the ultimate benefactors? Explore Further Follow Styli on LinkedIn Explore Daily Maverick See more Congress speakers About Congress The FIPP World Media Congress is a must-attend event for anyone in leadership positions in the media. Delegates can hear from an incredible range of media thought leaders and influencers while networking with their peers in the resort’s stunning venues and hotels. For specially discounted tickets click here.