Mike Magee's new global news site to 'take on the giants'

IT journalist turned web entrepreneur Mike Magee has launched a new India-based website covering world news.

The News (www.instantnews.net) claims to employ around a dozen journalists in Bangalore and around the world and will deliver global news in a “punchy and controversial style”.

The new venture comes seven months after Magee launched specialist technology website IT Examiner in India.

Magee co-founded technology news website The Register in 1994 and left it in 2001 to set up rival site, The Inquirer, which was then sold to Computing publisher VNU in 2006.

The new site is his first foray into more general news publishing and is backed by Chinese entrepreneur Cher Wang, who also backed IT Examiner.

Magee told Press Gazette that the site will mainly use original content – but will also take wire service news.

He said the site, which will be funded by advertising, benefits from low costs by being based in India. He believes it will need to attract around 100,000 unique users a month to be viable.

“The web has really levelled the playing field and there are a lot of good journalists around and a lot of good journalists that haven’t got jobs,” Magee said.

“The big media organisations are stuck with these print products and huge overheads.

“I think if we give our news an additional slant and inject some cheeky and irreverent stuff like we did with The Register and the Inquirer we can get some of the audience.”

He added: “At a time when multinational and national newspaper groups are cutting staff, closing offices and facing the overhead of print production, distribution costs and declining readership, we feel we’ve a good chance of taking on the giants by concentrating on sound journalism and challenging the state of journalism now.

“A recent article on Forbes.com told a stark truth. Print advertising, the piece said, is evaporating, meaning that in the UK, at least, Northcliffe Media and Trinity are still tied to classified ad revenues and can’t scale their operations to take advantage of the low-cost model in the online world.

“Journalists these days are frightened little rabbits told to print or pixellate press releases and taught not to challenge power and vested interests.

“We will prove that journalism is not dead and that readers want strong journalism and not wishy-washy pap dictated to them by multiple vested interests.”

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