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Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Five things to know about the future of Doha News

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By Jaimee Haddad

Thanks to all of you who came to last night’s meet up and tuned in online. For those who missed out, you can watch the video of the event here. For a quick recap, here is a list of the top five things we unveiled yesterday at our second annual community meeting:

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  • We have an app! Thanks to our wonderful team of alumni and current Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar developers and the Check Out My Design team, we have a new app available for download on Android phones (IOS is still under review, but coming soon). We’ve made it easier for our users to share and submit stories and archive articles for later reading. There’s even a night-time reading feature for reading in the dark. We are taking user feedback to work out all the kinks for future updates of the app.
  • We’re launching a new website! DN is migrating to WordPress this week, a platform that will allow us to share more stories with you, in a more professional-looking layout. However, we don’t plan to leave Tumblr, but will retool our offerings on the Tumblr site after switching over.
  • We have a new proposed funding model. For the first time, Doha News will be looking for direct support from our user. To continue providing quality news and journalism, and increase what we can do, we need to go beyond advertising as a source of revenue. So we’ll be establishing a paid membership system in which those who sign up will receive various perks in exchange for their support, including tickets to events, access to a private forum and Doha News swag. Our content will still be available to the public free of charge, but we do greatly appreciate any help you can give. Look for this in the coming weeks.

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  • We are not going to run sponsored stories. Taking into account the unanimous opinion of our audience last night, we will continue to decline to post content that is paid for by advertisers. Community members have told us that they trust our articles, and that mixing in paid content – even if labeled clearly – with our stories could compromise our integrity as a trusted news source.
  • We are staying online (but becoming more connected than ever). Many of you asked if Doha News is considering expanding into print. Because nearly 90 percent of individuals here are online, and the country already has seven daily newspapers (four in Arabic and three in English), as well as strict regulations on content published in print, we don’t feel we have a place in that market, for the time being. However, we are considering publishing photo books, calendars and other related items in the future.

For more on last night’s conversation, here’s a Storify put together by Yasser Khan:


Did you come? Thoughts?

Credit: Photo by Teil Scott

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