The newsletter, in the journalistic sense, is one that is printed and which you pay for. Maurice Botbol, editor in chief of Indigo publications (8 newsletters), explains to us why he has chosen this model.
The “confidential letters” allow for independence on several levels. Firstly, financially as capital investment can be relatively low – in this case 70,000 Euros. Then with regards to censorship: no kiosk, no censorship.
The newsletters are sold through “relatively expensive” subscriptions (840 Euros for the year), for a professional audience (companies, ministers, embassies, NGO, universities, the media, etc…). The articles are short (“leaders don’t have a lot of time”) and no photos are used to embellish the text, as “they do not add any value”.
With a small team of 20 to 25 people, of which only half are journalists, Indigo prides itself in its turnover of 2,6 million euros for 2009, without owing so much as a penny to bankers. A financial independence that also guarantees an editorial independence.
Maurice Botbol is not afraid of piracy. “Photocopying? That’s our best marketing tool!” And as for the PDF versions, the copies are stamped with the subscriber’s name, a form of soft prevention that relies on the effect of “the moral limit”.