Independent news site The Middle Ground (TMG) has revealed plans to wind down the business two and a half years after its launch in 2015. This was confirmed in a post by Daniel Yap (pictured right), publisher at TMG, who added that the process of winding down will take between one and three months "due to the obligations the publication has to its clients and suppliers".
“These[obligations] will have to be negotiated, but we commit to publishing what we can while we fulfil our obligations,” Yap added. The news site is also helmed by veteran journalist Bertha Henson (pictured left). Following the announcement, both Henson and Yap will go back to blogging. Marketing has reached out to TMG for comment.
According to Yap, prior to the closure announcement, TMG had over 200 patrons on the platform contributing around SG$3,000 each month. He added that the choices made meant that TMG was “not as attractive as other platforms” when it came to sheer traffic and viral content, which he explained was the “lifeblood of ad campaigns”.
“Unfortunately, the overheads for a solid news editorial team run into the tens of thousands, and TMG wasn’t an operation we could sustain long term, not without departing from the core values that we hold dear,” Yap explained.
“I’m sorry that we’ve not been able to make this work in this form. There are things we could have done better, and in many ways we were too optimistic about the sustainability of this project. The decision was a difficult one, but it was the only decision that made sense to us,” Yap added.
In December last year, TMG launched a fundraising Patreon campaign to help it continue running through 2017. The campaign aimed to raise SG$15,000 per month, an amount which represents a portion of its expenses which it hopes to cover with ads and editorial work. The monthly donations came in different tiers, which saw different levels of benefits to donors. In the post announcing the closure, Yap revealed that the Patreon campaign will cease on 15 November 2017.