Our commitment to transparency: financial statement for 2022

We retain our commitment to transparency as a community-funded model that answers to our readers. This is our financial overview based on our audited accounts for 2022.

The Shift is the only newsroom in Malta that does not accept funding from political parties or the government. We insist this stand is important to retain our independence in a media landscape dominated by propaganda.

We have built a multi-revenue stream business model to sustain our operations, based on successful examples in Europe that depart from the outdated models that restrict the traditional media’s independence.

Our audited financial statements for 2022 show this model is working. It allows The Shift the flexibility to take up opportunities and rely on different revenue streams according to exigencies.

Our readers remain our main pillar of support. Reader donations contributed 41% of The Shift’s total income in 2022 – thousands of readers who support The Shift with donations ranging from €5 to €100.

We thank you for that. We knew you’d have our back, and you’ve proven this time and time again.

 

In 2022, we were just coming out of the difficult COVID times. While newsrooms like ours shut down across Europe because of the financial strain, we survived. We took severe salary cuts, and we worked harder.

Not only did we survive, but we emerged stronger.  Strong enough to face the 40 legal challenges the government threw at us that year to challenge our Freedom of Information requests. Our crowdfunding campaign raised €25,000 in two days and helped us face the battle.

We also worked hard on our other revenue streams, raising a total of €208,426 in 2022 (an increase of €97,062 from the previous year).

International grants accounted for 37% of our revenue, while events organised by The Shift (such as debates and the art exhibition) brought in 4% of our income for the year.

We launched our Corporate Democratic Responsibility Programme in the last quarter of the year, which resulted in 18% of our revenue. We choose the companies we partner with on the values of transparency and integrity.

These companies help us understand the challenges being faced by different sectors. But we’ve also refused tens of thousands of euro in funding from companies that approached us because we felt it was an attempt to buy our silence. We serve our readers and nobody else.

The Shift’s holding company’s Articles of Association state that all profits must be re-invested in journalism. We have invested in more staff, increased training, an improved website, and better technical support, among other necessities.

The main expenses included administrative expenses (€41,322), HR (€49,557) in addition to fees paid to content contributors, costs relating to website maintenance, and legal fees (€21,265) due to the government launching some 80 lawyers from different ministries and agencies to challenge The Shift’s requests for information.

The cases led to Malta being ranked as the EU country with the most SLAPP cases filed against journalists, according to the Coalition Against SLAPPs in Europe (CASE). More than two years later, the cases are still ongoing.

We retain our commitment to continue to bring you truly independent investigative reporting and to continue to fight for your right to know. We thank you for your support.

                           

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2 Comments
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S. Camilleri
S. Camilleri
1 month ago

You’re a bulwark against corruption and horribly bad governance. Keep up the good work.

Joseph Farrugia
Joseph Farrugia
1 month ago

Well done for excellent work.

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