Defend Truth

The Membership Puzzle and Daily Maverick audience engagement and membership workshop

If you work in an African news organization and you’re exploring how to deepen relationships with your audience members, we hope you’ll join the Membership Puzzle Project and Daily Maverick for a workshop on audience engagement and membership models on Aug. 21 & 22, in Cape Town.

Journalism is evolving and membership models are helping news organisations improve through community building and generating revenue. This workshop will give you the inspiration, tools, and thought partners you need to begin and succeed at this work.

Who we are:

The Membership Puzzle Project is a public research project at New York University studying how to optimize a news organization for trust, primarily through membership in its many forms. They run the Membership in News Fund, which supports promising experiments in membership around the world. Daily Maverick is one of their grantees and together are hosting this workshop.

Daily Maverick is an independent news, analysis and investigative digital publisher based in South Africa. In August 2018,  DM launched Maverick Insider, a membership program and less than a year later, have gained more than 7,000 paying members. DM has also launched new editorial products that have deepened their relationship with their readers.

What we have planned: 

The agenda is a work in progress, but expect sessions on the following:

  • The state of membership worldwide
  • An in-depth look at Year One of the Daily Maverick’s Maverick Insider membership program
  • Catalyst talks highlighting inspiring audience engagement projects from around the world
  • How to do your own audience research
  • How to develop and grow newsletters – and use them to support audience revenue
  • How to develop your own membership offering
  • The tech and human resources needed to run a membership program
  • Open times on the schedule for attendees to pitch discussions on topics of their choosing

Both days will begin at 9 a.m. The first day will conclude around 5 p.m. and the second day will conclude in the early afternoon. Breakfast and lunch will be provided both days.

Additionally, the Daily Maverick will be celebrating the first anniversary of Maverick Insiders on the evening of Aug. 21 with its Cape Town members. All participants are invited to attend the celebration at the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art for free. Transportation from the workshop to the event will be provided. 

The venue 

The workshop will be held at the President’s Hotel in Bantry Bay, Cape Town. 

For those who are coming from out of town, we have secured discounted rooms and apartments at two locations.

Who can attend?

Registration is open to any staff member of an African news organization, but in order to make this a fairly hands-on workshop, we are planning to limit attendance to 60 people. We ask that each news organization send no more than two people.

It is our mutual belief that you do not have to be a startup or an organization with a membership program to find this workshop helpful. The skill of designing for community and getting closer to audience members will be beneficial for any news organization trying to figure out a sustainable business model in 2019.

Interested in joining us? 

Register for the conference here. If you have any questions, please email Ariel at [email protected] and Fran Beighton at [email protected].

We will keep this page updated in the coming weeks with additional logistical information. We’ll also e-mail that information to registered participants.

Looking forward to seeing you in Cape Town.

The Membership Puzzle Project and Daily Maverick