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Malaysiakini is one of Malaysia’s most popular news sites, and was founded in 1999. In 2002, still a medium size organization, with 20 staff members, making money mostly from advertising and other services, Malaysiakini decided to introduce a paywall at a time when internet access, credit cards and online payments were far from popular anywhere in the world. This episode tells the story of this incredible experiment and its consequences for independent media.
We talked to Premesh Chandran, CEO and co-founder of Malaysiakini, and Patrice Schneider, Chief Strategy Officer at MDIF, who were there in 2002 to find out how it was to innovate back in 2002 and what type of expertise does it take to do it.