They said it wouldn’t work. They had said the same thing when we started Daily Maverick, a fiercely independent, long-form news publisher, in 2009. At least they were consistent.
Most people couldn’t get their heads wrapped around a voluntary membership program with no paywall allowing people to choose their monthly contribution amount. But that’s what we announced we’d create at an in-person gathering of almost 1,000 readers in Cape Town four years ago.