First of all: Thank you very much. This is the most important thing, as it was only up to you that Telex could start its operation with 70 people on staff on 2 October 2020.
At present, we have more than 34 000 supporters, and we can never be grateful enough for that. We will do everything within our power to provide you with the diverse, quick, and accurate coverage of both domestic and global events, just like what you were used to.
Here are some quick answers to the questions we have received in comments and messages:
"You shouldn't make a big fuss out of it, have a landing page and Google docs, and that's it!"
"A simple frontpage takes 1-2 hours to throw together, there is no need to be the Wall Street Journal on day one. I don't like it that you already beg for money with nothing to show for it. It has an air of amateurism, I hope you will be better at journalism."
We ask you to be patient. Launching a news site requires a tremendous amount of work, it cannot be done in a couple of hours. As we had very limited time to start Telex, initially, we will operate in 'test mode' and we are extremely grateful for any feedback, suggestions, and especially bug reports. You can tell us if something's not working on this form here, or if that is what's broken, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"70 people? Do you have a budget plan? I don't want you to run out of money. You should have started with 30 or 40 people and expanded on that!"
So far, it seems that our operation will be secure for months with the donations we have received. We will publish detailed accounts of the donations and what we are spending them on at the end of our initial donation campaign in the second half of October.
“What is this strangely named company that collects the donations?”
Van Másik Kft., the publishing company behind Telex, is currently owned exclusively by Márton Kárpáti, but that will soon change. This was the quickest and most simple way to put a company together for the preparations. When this structure changes, the most crucial factor will be to make sure that the staff still retains control over the majority of the company, thus protecting Telex from any outside influence.
“So the Czech Soros loves you guys, huh?”
Well, only the Hungarian propaganda media calls Zdeněk Bakala the "Czech Soros," they are not connected in any way. Zdeněk Bakala is one of the wealthiest businessmen of the Czech Republic and one of the owners of the media firm Economia. Economia contacted us at the end of September with a generous donation offer, they intend to support Telex with EUR200,000. Once again, this is a donation, not an investment.
That means that by definition, the donor does not and cannot have any expectations other than us spending the donation in accordance with our declared goals, on our own terms. This is just as true for the Economia and Mr Bakala as it is for the rest of our more than 34 000 donors.
That donation, by the way, is not on our account yet. Our financial and legal advisors are working together with those of Economia to figure out the best way to complete this transaction in the most transparent and lawful way possible.
"You've been at it for the past two months, even I would have pulled up a website in that time."
Telex launches with hundreds of (Hungarian) articles already in the archive, but we kept busy even before the official opening of the site; we have published more than 50 articles on our Facebook page, including such exclusives like the story of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' secret list of journalists' professional trips abroad.
Telex will be fair, critical, and curious, it will run stories on politics, the economy, sports, science and technology, culture, gastronomy, it will feature infographics and videos, and we will constantly expand our topics and formats. Our reporters will be present at all important events, and we will provide you with the news, no matter if they happen at 5 in the morning or Christmas. And that is just the start.
"I want decent news for all that money!"
Telex has launched as a free news site, as of now, we only accept donations and we do not have a paywall. But on the Hungarian media landscape, not even the most frugal management could make a 24/7 news site sustainable on advertising revenue alone, especially during the recession brought about by COVID-19. Therefore, Telex will adopt a subscription-based model in the near future, we are currently working out the details and we will announce them as soon as they are ready.
"Will you have a mobile app too?"
Of course, we will, for Android and iOS as well – not from day one, but really, really soon.
"Do you have anything else to say?"
Yes, we do. We are really touched by all the support we got, and we are aware of the weight of our responsibility. All of our colleagues are working around the clock to sate your thirst for information on a variety of topics. We will still rely on your support though, and of course, on your readership and attention. This will be awesome!
On behalf of the entire Telex-team:
Veronika Munk – Editor-in-chief
Márton Kárpáti – Managing director