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Friday, February 26, 2021

Doha News launches new membership scheme

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During last night’s community meet up, Doha News officially launched its new membership program, which gives readers an opportunity to support our journalism.

The program is open to anyone living inside or outside of Qatar, and members can sign up by paying an annual fee of QR300. In return for the support, members will have access to several benefits, including:

  • A private forum, to facilitate discussions between community members;
  • Tickets to various events;
  • Doha News swag (t-shirts, etc) for free or at a discounted price;
  • Discounts at partner companies – which will be offered to members for fixed periods;
  • Exclusive meet ups, gatherings that will be held every couple of months to continue our discussions offline; and
  • Member names listed on our website, if the member wants.

Memberships can be purchased online by credit card here or in person at our office in Palm Tower B. For more information, please contact me at fahad@dohanews.co.

Thank you in advance – and, thoughts?

37 COMMENTS

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Firas Zirie
6 years ago

No ads on the website for paying members? That would be nice.

Remember when the idea of advertising on the website was outright rejected? About a year or so ago if I’m not mistaken. Ah the good old days.

Shabina921
Shabina921
6 years ago
Reply to  Firas Zirie

The idea of sponsored posts was and continues to be rejected. Advertising is the only way we’re sustaining ourselves currently, as we’ve tapped our savings empty.

Firas Zirie
6 years ago
Reply to  Shabina921

My bad. Must have mixed up sponsored content with ads. I agree that sponsored articles would dilute the message and commend you for not caving.

I still would like to see no ads as a perk of paid membership though.

Jason
Jason
6 years ago
Reply to  Firas Zirie

Look up AdBlockPlus. (its a free browser add-on)
You can thank me later. =)

Pete
Pete
6 years ago

Err….what on earth is Doha News “Swag”? Perhaps it’s American terminology that I’m not aware of.

Shabina921
Shabina921
6 years ago
Reply to  Pete

Free stuff – like t-shirts and things.

LoveItOrLeaveIt2
LoveItOrLeaveIt2
6 years ago
Reply to  Shabina921

“Free” stuff .. for only QR300.

Saffa
Saffa
6 years ago
Reply to  Pete

Swag’s that free cr@p given out at conventions / exhibitions etc. like E3, ComiCon, GamesCon etc. Sometimes its good stuff, sometimes is just ballast 😉

KJD
KJD
6 years ago
Reply to  Pete

Swag = free garbage that will sit at the back of a closet and never see the light of day.

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago

Lol.

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago

No no for real.. Lol.

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago

Ok for real real this time.. I can tell your business sense is no better than you journalistic skills! Seriously you want people to pay you money to access your high quality news!

Swag! Seriously .. Swag… And discounts to events.. And to partner business.. Can this be any more of a scam.. You do know you need a business certificate from the ministry of commerce to operate this scheme.. And you do know if you want this to be more than an amateur blog and a real news outlet you need to right license from authorities…

In sure you make more ad revenue with every click.. Stick to it

desertCard
desertCard
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

I’m quite sure they know the procedures but sure they appreciate your input. 3 times. LOL

And I’d say this is about the only true report of news here. Unless you’re a lemming and believe those rags the gov’t authorizes.

LoveItOrLeaveIt2
LoveItOrLeaveIt2
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

Labors in the industrial area are the neediest for that money. Unfortunately they have been used as a marketing tool for others’ personal greed.

desertCard
desertCard
6 years ago

How? If you’re commenting on the portraits made then comment on that story not this.

Fahad Qureshi
Fahad Qureshi
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

Hi A_qtr, and thanks for your concerns. Our news will still (and always!) be free – we are not asking people to pay money to access our articles. The membership program is for those readers who want to further support Doha News and our journalism. In return, we would like to offer certain benefits to these members. Also, we have taken the necessary steps to ensure we can operate this scheme. Thank you!

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago
Reply to  Fahad Qureshi

Why can’t you make money off advertising? It is one of the most visited sites in Qatar and I am sure a lot of local business would like to advertise.

I can’t join of Captain Al Marri of the Wakra police will know who I am and come to my 20 bedroom villa and arrest me.

Fahad Qureshi
Fahad Qureshi
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Hi MIMH. For the past couple of years, we have been making off advertising, and have used this money and our savings to keep Doha News running. Unfortunately, if we want to grow our team to expand Doha News (like a video journalist for example), we need to look outside advertising for income.

osamaalassiry
osamaalassiry
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

Had a discussion once, they’re not in DohaNews for the “Business”… They just want to be journalists, and I think that they succeed in this.

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago

Btw with all seriousness … even if it’s financial contributions you’re looking for be sure you have the right license… I’m sure you do or you’re aware .. But if not you can get in a bit of trouble …

desertCard
desertCard
6 years ago

I understand the thought but nearly $100? I appreciate your efforts due to the fact it’s the only place to get decent news about this place. We’re not all rolling in dough though.

Fahad Qureshi
Fahad Qureshi
6 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

Hi desertCard. Thank you for your concern. The 300 riyals ($82) is for an annual subscription to our membership program. That comes to 25 riyals ($7) per month – a number that we felt comfortable with. In addition, our members will receive certain merchandise, tickets, etc. that hopefully make up for this fee. Thanks!

desertCard
desertCard
6 years ago
Reply to  Fahad Qureshi

I do appreciate your efforts and have a better understanding of your needs after thinking about it. It’s refreshing to get real news on here and not the drivel fed from the other sources of what they call news.

Yacine
Yacine
6 years ago

That’s a great idea. I am going to be a member soon inshalla 🙂
Dohanews is inarguably the best local news website in Qatar and is by far better than all the Qatari newspapers’ websites.

MrJames
MrJames
6 years ago

I’m a huge admirer of Doha News. However…

…from a fiscal perspective, I can certainly see the need to monetise the site, but I can’t imagine that this is the best way. You run the risk of allegations of creating an elite, financially excluding large segments of Qatar society, and waiving impartiality, for what will undoubtedly turn out to be a very small revenue stream.

Yacine
Yacine
6 years ago
Reply to  MrJames

Very small? Not necessarily. If 1000 people pay that is a hefty 300k QAR. That is enough to pay 2 more journalists for a year. Even less than that would be enough to add 2 freelancers and a permanent position for example.

The problem is that there is no way to monetize online journalism apart from paywalls and memberships, simply because ads are cheap online. So it is not about doing the right thing, it is about doing what they can to establish some financial independence and sustainability.

MrJames
MrJames
6 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

I politely disagree. However, time will tell.

Fahad Qureshi
Fahad Qureshi
6 years ago
Reply to  MrJames

Hi Iain. Like the advertisements on our page, our membership program will have absolutely no influence on our impartiality. We take high-quality journalism at DN very seriously and we keep the business side of DN and the editorial side of DN separate. Thanks.

MrJames
MrJames
6 years ago
Reply to  Fahad Qureshi

Thanks Fahad.
Again, I’m a great admirer of Doha news, and I do wish you well. It’s just that from a business perspective, I can’t imagine that this will generate significant revenue.

It’s also really interesting to see how many of the DN team are commenting on this thread, compared to other threads. Almost looks defensive.

desertCard
desertCard
6 years ago
Reply to  MrJames

It’s my understanding you will still be able to read the stories. They’re just asking for our help. NO paywall or anything involved if I’m understanding correctly.

EGC
EGC
6 years ago

It’s a well-written, informative site.
For less than a riyal a day?
Come on. Let’s dig deep and support it.

desertCard
desertCard
6 years ago

I think we should give them a bit of a break here. We are all obviously avid readers of this site and have taken full advantage of their efforts and most will agree that they are efforts well done. To soften the blow of the costs they offered free stuff and discounts. You’ll still be able to access the site whether you pay or not apparently. LoveItOrLeaveIt you can still flame all you want for free. They’re just asking the readers to help out. Up to you but don’t make fun of them for trying.

LoveItOrLeaveIt2
LoveItOrLeaveIt2
6 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

“Up to you but don’t make fun of them for trying.” Double standards at it’s finest. I will still give my QR.300 for those labors who need it the most.

desertCard
desertCard
6 years ago

Like to see that receipt. LOL

Raph
Raph
6 years ago

Although I’d like to support Doha News for they are clearly the best source for news here in English, I think the approach is pretty clumsy. Either you ask for financial support, like wikipedia does, and it’s fine. Or you make a subscription. But if I pay an annual fee, I expect to get a different content. I mean more than what the non-paying reader gets. And I really couldn’t care less about more goodies or more discounts for restaurants and hotels.

desertCard
desertCard
6 years ago
Reply to  Raph

Agreed. Its more like they’re just asking for donations really. If I pay and someone else doesn’t but we get the same content then that’s what they are asking for. NOt saying I wouldn’t help them out but it is clumsy.

iqxgo
iqxgo
6 years ago

I fully support this plan. This same model has worked for other web content providers. The plan is simple:
1. Leave the site the way it is.
2. Offer a way for those who wish to help financially to do so.

Everybody wins. Hats off to DN and I hope the plan is successful. To think that DN can grow and improve solely on ad revenue is silly. Good luck to Shabina, et al and thanks for bringing us DN.

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