OhmyNews, a pioneering Korean citizen journalism site, lost KRW 500 million or about US$400,000 this year alone, Oh Yeon-ho, the founder and CEO of OhmyNews disclosed in an open letter published on its news site on July 8. And he fears it would lose more money as advertisers keep slashing marketing budget amid the global financial crisis.
Mr. Oh believes, however, if 100,000 readers join OhmyNews as supporters, paying 10,000 won a month, it would achieve its financial independence without necessarily relying on advertising dollars.
“I have always believed that if we are truly a citizen participatory Internet media, then the contributions from readers should be at least half of the total revenue,” Oh said. “About 70 to 80 percent of OhmyNews revenue come from corporate advertising and sponsorships.”