But that’s not the same as saying that everything is OK with journalism and the Kyiv Post, which for nearly 18 years has provided news, investigations and opinions that give English-language readers tremendous insight into Ukraine. I am proud to say that we did our jobs fearlessly and covered events as we saw them, writing as if each edition could be our last one. In Ukraine, practicing such independent journalism is a rare privilege indeed.
The Kyiv Post’s financial survival will be the challenge for those who remain. Our struggle is a regrettable but common one in a profession that has been shedding jobs by the thousands and cutting costs every year since the dawn of the Internet age. Newspapers’ main source of revenue – print advertising – is drying up. Meanwhile, the industry has been slow to recover this lost revenue in the digital age.
Newspapers are only now abandoning a flawed business model in which we gave away our content online while charging for it in the printed form. The Kyiv Post launched its paywall on March 1, asking readers to pay $36 a year for website access. We have a few hundred subscribers but will need a few thousand of them to make a go of it and keep the newsroom full of truth-seeking journalists.