FOLLOWING an article calling on Branislav “Branko” Brkic’s Daily Maverick to come clean to Maverick Insiders on its financial state, the platform has taken down the posters where it claims to be “running on fumes.”
This is not to suggest that the reason why the posters were removed is as a reaction to our article. Although, it does raise the question of whether Brkic’s platform is no longer “running on fumes” or if it was ever “running on fumes” in the first place.
The phrase “running on fumes” means to continue doing something even when you have no energy left, or to operate with low resources or money, according to theidioms.com. Considering that Brkic’s Daily Maverick now claims to have 17 000 Maverick Insiders, the claim that they are ‘running on fumes’ is far from the truth.
In 2018, The Daily Maverick raised a total of $842 700 (about R12.9 million at current exchange rates) in funding over two rounds. Their latest funding was raised on November 27, 2018, from a Grant round, according to crunchbase.com.
Add this to the Maverick Insider subscriptions, advertising revenue, and the funding from donors that Brkic prefers to keep anonymous, and the total is substantial.
The Daily Maverick has been one of the loudest voices in the call for political parties to publicly declare their funders and have even called on parties to be honest in their party funding declarations, suggesting that they may lie about their funding.
This is hypocritical, considering they themselves are using their readers’ funds but have elected not to declare their true financial state and have also chosen not to declare who their other funders and backers are.
People in glasshouses should not throw stones. So really, should Brkic not look at his own affairs before criticising those of others? In fact, for a platform that prides itself on telling the truth, the irony of this situation should not be lost on its followers or detractors.
We posed a simple question to Brkic: “Considering that you are largely using funds from the public or Maverick Insiders, don’t you think it would be proper to regularly share your company’s financial status as a form of accountability?”
We’re still awaiting a response.
In its recent communique to readers, the Daily Maverick says: “Maverick Insiders get everything that Daily Maverick readers get from us – the latest DM investigations and analysis, opinions, and Op-Eds from leaders in politics, business and civil society, newsletters with overnight breaking news, expertly produced podcasts and live journalism webinars.
“We consider you part of the family, so you’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to create, grow and run Daily Maverick with a bi-weekly newsletter with insights from our journalists and co-founders, Branko Brkic and Styli Charalambous. We’ll also give you a heads-up on advanced bookings for our webinars, events and partner offers.”
Maverick Insiders will get this and a whole lot of other stuff, except a declaration of the true financial state of the business they help to support. Nor is there any disclosure as to how the monies they donate are used.
I’m not sure that an investment into a platform that conveys selective truths has any returns. What say you?