As part of the Facebook Journalism Project’s recent Reader Revenue Accelerator in Germany, our partners at the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) met with Dr. Ruth Betz of Funke Mediengruppe, one of Germany’s largest newspaper and magazine publishers, to discuss how she’s currently overseeing many of Funke news outlets’ transition into a truly digital approach to publishing.

On the IJNotes Podcast, Betz said Funke is now embracing a “user-first approach” – publishing stories at 6 a.m. and 9 p.m., for example, when they learned most readers like to sign on. The transition meant bringing the organization’s many teams together to create a sustainable digital business alongside its print efforts.

“It’s not just an editor and the sales department – by now everyone is responsible for [a story] getting sold,” and read by more people, Betz said. “Digital transformation is something that will be finished at some point; the interesting part is what’s coming after that.”

Tune into the IJNet podcast below to hear more on Funke Mediengruppe’s successes, challenges, and where Betz sees newsrooms heading in the future:


Check out IJNet’s new podcast “IJNotes,” where ICFJ explores work by journalists around the world to spotlight the important reporting each is carrying out.

The Accelerator Program

The Facebook Journalism Project’s Accelerator Program helps news publishers build sustainable businesses. Funded and organized by the Facebook Journalism Project (FJP), each Accelerator includes a three-month period of hands-on workshops led by news industry veterans, grants administered by non-profit journalism organizations, and regular reports on best business practices. The Accelerator’s executive director is Tim Griggs, an independent consultant/advisor and former New York Times and Texas Tribune executive.

For monthly updates on the Accelerator Program, sign up for the FJP newsletter.