Ads Top

Germany: Der Spiegel receives millions for "independent journalism"

These are difficult times for Der Spiegel. According to Wikipedia it has a circulation of 695,910 copies. In 2008 it was almost 1.1 million. That means a drop of almost 37 percent for the period. Although the circulation of printed editions have recovered slightly recently, the online offer is coming under pressure.

Der Spiegel is not alone in this misery. Things are not looking rosy for Stern and Focus either. There, the slump in the number of editions continues.

Der Spiegel has also suffered losses lately in terms of web traffic, which is a measure of advertising revenue. While the monthly visitors in June were 111.4 million, Der Spiegel slipped below the 100 million mark in October.

But it's not all bad news for the Hamburg news magazine. In October 2021, 2.9 million euros flowed from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) to the publication. In 2018, Der Spiegel received money from the same agency. At that time, the foundation transferred $2.5 million. So about 2.3 million euros, which Der Spiegel was allowed to book as a profit.

"The funding for the project Global company amounts to 760,000 euros per year (limited to three years). The total turnover of DER SPIEGEL Group in 2019 amounted to a total of 267 million euros. [..] "

DER SPIEGEL Group is the parent company of Der Spiegel, to which a number of subsidiaries belong and which publishes other periodicals and supplements. To what extent the turnover of the whole group with a donation, which is pure profit and which is only designated for Der Spiegel Online, serves as a comparison is questionable.

Der Spiegel writes about the projects with the BMGF
"In recent years, SPIEGEL has already implemented two journalistic projects with the European Journalism Center (EJC) and funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation: The 'Expedition The Day After Tomorrow' on global sustainability goals (duration: 2016-18, funding: 250,000 euros ) as well as the journalistic refugee project 'The New Arrivals', which resulted in several award-winning multimedia reports on the topics of migration and flight (duration: 2017/18, funding: 175,000 euros). These projects have now been completed."

The money was used to finance a separate section entitled "Global Society". Migration, global pandemics, sustainability, climate justice, social injustice and other topics of the 21st century are the focus here. The usual exhausted buzzwords that have to serve as a justification for a coming "global governance".

"The aim is to increase reporting on pressing global issues of our time, which are already part of our daily work. [..] The project is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the editorial content is created without the Foundation's influence."

Fresh $2.9 million in October 2021
This time the funds will flow over a period of 41 months. The intended use is reiterated: "Global Health and Development Public Awareness and Analysis".

Der Spiegel has not yet informed its readers of the recent financial blessing. So far a message is missing on the page. The last update on information about the cooperation with the BMGF is from May 14, 2020. With the last donation, it took five months for Der Spiegel to present the new section to its readers and provide information about the donation. It will be interesting to see how and when Der Spiegel reacts this time.

But does the statement cited above also apply to the new donation? This time, too, the support will probably not have any influence on the editorial content. Who would doubt that, given the current coverage of Der Spiegel?

Further donations from the BMGF
The list of all donations can be found here. Der Spiegel is by no means alone in the field of journalism. The BBC has received just under 50 million from the foundation in recent years.

The Stichting European Journalism Center, which advertises a new form of progressive journalism on its website, received 4.6 million euros in October. Journalism is an important field for the BMGF.

The uses of the donations are interesting. The classification “Public Awareness” is often found, ie the generation of public awareness. What is meant by this should be clear to the reader.

The many donations to educational institutions around the world are particularly striking. Here is a list of the donations made within the last two months alone:

American Association of State Colleges and Universities ($ 175,000), Agnes Scott College ($ 146,994), The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine ($ 1,540,244), University of Sheffield ($ 289,152), University of Manitoba ($ 999,994), Johns Hopkins University ( $ 1,583,774), Aga Khan University ($ 6,312,452), University of Ghana ($ 311,298), Tufts University ($ 1,496,573), Fudan University Education Development Foundation, Shanghai ($ 1,229,760), Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine ($ 2,499,915), University of Michigan ($ 170,000), Emory University ($ 786,399), Aga Khan University ($ 1,791,757), University of Oxford ($ 8,723,992), Vanderbilt University Medical Center ($ 940,750), University of Maryland ($ 17,255,627), Piramal Swasthya Management and Research Institute ($ 8,000,000), University of Washington Foundation ( $ 1,112,372),Johns Hopkins University ($ 548,378), University of Washington Foundation ($ 3,541,221), Aga Khan University ($ 4,863,699), Georgetown University ($ 86,532), University of Delaware ($ 2,080,685), University of Pretoria ($ 845,964), Beijing Normal University ($ 50,000), Stanford University ($ 1,235,112), University of California San Diego ($ 2,328,069), Ohio Association of Community Colleges ($ 153,647), Rockefeller University ($ 1,520,429)

… and so forth. The author gave up at some point, although not even all entries for October 2021 have been listed here.

Another eye-catcher is a donation in October to the Hamburg-based company Evotec for $ 18,062,339 for the purpose of “family planning”. A total at the high end of the scale.

Finally about the biggest donations of the last time. Some readers will probably guess which institution they were for. Gates donated a total of 100 million euros to the WHO in the past two months.

In view of these sums, Der Spiegel seems to have some catching up to do to please the philanthropic donors even better in one way or another in order to get the really big sums in the next round.

In view of the regrettable position of Der Spiegel, the only thing left here is to wish good luck.

Powered by Blogger.