Readers of the Guardian are still ruminating over the “Long Read” essay by the paper’s Editor-in-chief Katharine (“Kath”) Viner that appeared on November 16. After several thousand words about the paper’s Manchester origins, its occasionally embarrassing history (it backed “the slave-owning south in the American civil war” and opposed the NHS) and the great C.P. Scott (just plain “Editor”), she cut to the chase: “The Guardian is now funded more by our readers than by our advertisers.”
So the paper now imitates the not-for-profit business model of Wikipedia. However, Guardian Media Group is not a registered charity, as its 800,000 donors will discover if they try to reclaim tax. The chief executive, David Pemsel, pays himself more than £700,000 a year; Ms Viner contents herself with less than £400,000. Last year the paper lost more than £45 million; luckily, the group still owns assets that cover these eye-watering losses pro tem. Still, the Guardian — which never pretended to be other than a profit-making business for two centuries — is now relying on donations to survive.
Now consider Standpoint — a little Revenge to the Guardian’s great Spanish galleon. A decade ago, the magazine was founded as a charity, recognising that highbrow journalism has seldom been profitable anywhere in the world. In that time we have built a subscription, newsstand and online readership, at home and abroad. Our readers are loyal and their numbers have grown steadily; our influence is commensurate. But it was never expected that Standpoint could rely on sales and advertising to break even. It has from the outset depended on the munificence of those who share our vision that Western civilisation needs to be championed and defended.
To keep afloat, the magazine has been broadening its donor base for years. It now needs annual donations of £200,000. Not a penny of this will be wasted; in the last year, staff, offices and all other costs have been cut to the bare minimum.
There is no other magazine like Standpoint anywhere in the world. We are confident that tens of thousands more readers will benefit from its unique range of writing, especially once the magazine’s long-term future is assured. Please get in touch if you would like to contribute, or if you know someone else who would enjoy it and might be able to help. Click here for further details.
Thank you for your unfailing generosity.