Katie Way of Hell Gate looks at how four former Motherboard tech journalists departed Vice and started their own tech news site called 404 Media.
Here’s an excerpt of her interview with founders Jason Koebler, Samantha Cole, Emanuel Maiberg and Joseph Cox:
Let’s talk shop a little—how are you structuring the new publication?
Cole: It’s definitely going to be journalist-owned, in that we’re journalists and we own it, but we haven’t even gotten to the stage where we’re talking about hiring. Of course, we want to hire people someday, but we don’t know what that looks like yet. We’re being careful not to label it as worker-owned yet, because we don’t know what it’s gonna be. Like, right now, we own it. And we’re the workers. But, you know, whether that’s gonna be the model? Not sure.
In terms of editorial structure, we’re all doing everything. Joseph is doing the podcast, I’m gonna be doing a newsletter, Jason’s been trying to get us insurance and lawyers and SEO help and shit like that. But really, it’s all of us doing everything, which you kind of have to.
Koebler: Having only four people makes that tenable. We’re all 25 percent owners, and we don’t have titles beyond “journalist” or “co-founder,” but I think I’ll mostly go with journalist, because that is first and foremost what we care about—that’s our job. That said, it’s been extremely exciting to figure out how stuff works, to go through the process of hiring a lawyer, incorporating, designing the website and getting logos done, getting a bank account, things like that.
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