Connect to share and comment

President's Messages

America’s World News Site: September 18, 2012

By Philip S. Balboni, President, CEO and Co-Founder

What do we mean when we call GlobalPost “America’s World News Site”? At the simplest level, we are an American company, headquartered in Boston, and most of our correspondents and staff are American-trained journalists. But more importantly, GlobalPost was created specifically to help fill the void in coverage of the world that has grown up in this country over several decades as US news organizations radically downsized or completely eliminated their international reporting capabilities. Even the inclusion of world news in most newspapers and television networks has declined significantly.

GlobalPost is the newest among a tiny group of American journalism organizations still fielding a substantial number of reporters overseas. Indeed, our core strength is our network of free-lance journalists located in every region of the world. We employ some 70 in all including nine Senior Correspondents whose primary loyalty and time are devoted to GlobalPost and who are based in leading world capitals like Delhi, London, Cairo, Bangkok, Brussels, Nairobi, and Hong Kong.

We focus our reporting on important business, political and social trends and we feature extensive on-location video reporting, multi-part special reports produced by our growing foundation-supported arm under the direction of Co-Founder Charles Sennott, as well as numerous in-depth series. We aim for a diverse array of fresh and distinctive stories about interesting people and events and we also aggressively cover breaking news worldwide with a team of writers who use smart aggregation techniques and provide links to multiple sources.

At launch on January 12, 2009, we said in our Mission Statement that GlobalPost would rely on the enduring values of great journalism: integrity, accuracy, independence and powerful storytelling. Over these three years, we have tried to stay faithful to these principles while also striving to build a strong business. The digital world is not an easy one to navigate and all quality news sites struggle to keep pace with enormous technological changes and difficult economic conditions.

In that founding Mission Statement, we promised that all reporting on GlobalPost would be held to the highest journalistic standards and that we would make every effort to offer reporting that is fair, intelligent, comprehensive and free of partisanship. We pledged to be courageous in the pursuit of the truth and to stand firm against forces that may want that truth hidden. We also try as much as possible to employ only correspondents who live in the countries they report on, believing this is the best way to deliver authoritative information. As a matter of principle, we are dedicated to coverage that is as broad geographically as our financial resources permit in order to have impact on areas of the world that have been historically under-reported by the American news media. We are committed to reporting on world issues and events that are important to the national dialogue and to improving the conversation of our democracy in an increasingly interconnected world. We are also committed to being non-partisan. We take no political or ideological position.

We attracted more than 20 million unique visitors to our site in 2011, double the number in 2010. The GlobalPost audience now stands at 2 million or more global unique visitors each month as measured by Google Analytics. Approximately two thirds come from the United States and the rest from virtually every country on earth, more than 220 every month. As I write this, the average age of the GlobalPost reader is 37; 61 percent are male; the mean income is $64,557; and 39% have a college or graduate degree.

GlobalPost is the recipient of almost every major award in American journalism. In 2012 alone, GlobalPost has won the George Foster Peabody Award, the top prize in electronic media in the US, for our international video reporting series On Location as well as the Edward R. Murrow Award from the Radio Television Digital News Association. In addition, GlobalPost has won the Overseas Press Club Award for best online coverage of breaking news for our reporting on the Libyan conflict and a total of 25 Best in Business Journalism Awards from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW). In 2012, we won 10 SABEW Awards, tying two of the giants of financial news -- Bloomberg and the Financial Times. Not bad for a 3-year-old!

GlobalPost is a for-profit enterprise owned by Global News Enterprises LLC, a private company funded by a small group of individual investors. I am joined on the Board of Directors by our Chairman, Amos B. Hostetter, a pioneer of the American cable industry and a highly successful venture investor and philanthropist; by Benjamin Taylor, former Publisher of the Boston Globe and a principal member of the Taylor family who sold the Globe to the New York Times Co. in 1993; by William Schleyer, former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Adelphia Communications and former President and Chief Executive Officer of AT&T Broadband; and by Ben Gomez, Managing Director of Pilot House Ventures.

GlobalPost is a purely digital news organization with no legacy media platform. We are part of a very small, unaffiliated group of similar entities that includes Salon, Slate, the Huffington Post, the Daily Beast, Politico, and Business Insider. Each is very different in style, content, philosophy and resources. But all share a passionate belief that good journalism is far from dead in America and that creativity, hard work, leading edge technology, and a spirit of entrepreneurship can lead to the building of new and valuable institutions that can serve our citizens and make a real difference in a world that is ever more complex and challenging.

No matter whether you live in America or somewhere else around the world, it is our hope that you will come to GlobalPost often and see us as a primary resource for understanding what’s happening in this complex and challenging world. We look forward to serving you and to hearing from you in the months and years to come.

With my sincere best wishes,

Phil Balboni
President, CEO and Co-Founder

 


 

President’s Message: February 17, 2011

Today marks the birth of a new face for GlobalPost with a totally redesigned site, new content and improved navigation. But our mission and our journalistic values remain unchanged. GlobalPost was created to improve and expand coverage of the world’s most important stories and events, some well-known but many entirely unreported by the rest of the news media.

Since our birth on January 12th, 2009, GlobalPost has been blessed with incredible growth and we have built an impressive audience both in the United States and across the world. More than 10 million people visited our site in 2010; that’s up from 3.9 million in our inaugural year. They came from 234 countries and territories, virtually every inhabited nation on the planet. This year has gotten off to a roaring start with nearly 1.5 million visitors in January. We are deeply grateful to all of our readers and especially to that large number of you who visit us every day.

The site you are visiting today is the product of many months of design and development work by the GlobalPost editorial and technical team and by our partners at Viewpoint Creative, a Boston firm with whom we partnered on the redesign. Our goals were to take GlobalPost to the next level in terms of ease of access to our content, improved presentation and navigation around the site, so that it is easier for our readers to find the stories they want –whether that is our coverage of an individual country or our topic based reporting on business, politics, war, health, technology, culture and lifestyle.

We have also greatly expanded our coverage of breaking news around the world, launched new blogs to track developments in the war in Afghanistan, in the key BRIC economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China, as well as emerging stories in Africa and Southeast Asia. We have a whole new section devoted to video where we can now showcase some of the exceptional reporting being done by our correspondents around the world. And we have greatly improved your ability to comment on and share our stories with your friends via Facebook and Twitter. We hope that our new commenting system, done in partnership with Facebook, will motivate you to share your thoughts on all of the incredible stories on which we report each day.

All of us here at GlobalPost are proud of what we have been fortunate to create and build these past two years. We hope that our redesigned site will demonstrate our ongoing commitment to always seek improvement in our service to you, our readers. We welcome your comments on the site and on our reporting and as always please feel free to contact me directly at pbalboni@globalpost.com.

 

With all best wishes,

Philip S. Balboni
President, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder
 


 

President’s Message: December 31, 2010

To Our Readers

From Philip S. Balboni, President, CEO and Co-Founder of GlobalPost

The year 2010, GlobalPost’s second year of operations, brought with it dramatic new challenges for our international coverage, most notably with the expansion of the war in Afghanistan, the horrific earthquake in Haiti that claimed nearly a quarter of a million lives, and the slow rebuilding of the global economy. But these are just a few of the hundreds of vitally important stories from across the world that played out during the past year. We created GlobalPost to help fill the void in foreign coverage that has been growing wider and deeper in recent years. And who could dispute that international developments have greater impact today on the lives of Americans and people of all nations than ever before in history. These stories cry out for strong, objective, and consistent reporting and that is the very core of our mission.

I’m proud to report that GlobalPost’s progress has been very good again this year. Perhaps most importantly, we are proud of the way our brand has spread literally around the world and of the growth in our audience which reached more than 10 million readers this year, nearly triple 2009’s total. Thanks to you we exceeded all of our monthly audience goals this year, passing the one million unique visitor mark in September and reaching the year’s highpoint in October with nearly 1.3 million readers.

Let me share with you a few other audience highlights:

61% of readers come from the United States and the rest from virtually every country on earth, 234 in all in 2010 and an average of 220 country visits each month. Top traffic sources include Canada, the UK, India, Australia, Germany, Indonesia, France, Japan, Turkey, China, Singapore, and the Netherlands.

65% of readers are male, 35% female.

60 percent of our readers are 18 to 49 years of age which is a surprisingly young audience for news. We hope this helps to prove that younger people do care about what’s happening in the world and find the internet to be the most convenient source for news.

29% have household income between $60,000 and $100,000 and 35% have household income above $100,000.

47% have college degrees and 23% attended graduate school.

GlobalPost also has acquired more than 118,000 Facebook fans. That puts our site in the top rank of all news organizations and far ahead of venerable brands like the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Guardian, Slate, Salon, and Politico.

Most importantly, we have worked hard to create a compelling online news site with distinctive reporting from every corner of the world. We’ve published more than 7,000 original reports and multi-part series since our launch.
While there are literally hundreds of outstanding examples from this past year, let me highlight a few that showcase the high quality of our reporting. Our “On Location” video series is unique and ambitious, employing the highest standards of professional video production with an authenticity and grit that is palpable. Each video report takes viewers to a remote location—from deep inside the Congo to the mean streets of Juarez Mexico, introducing viewers to extraordinary characters and providing context on key global issues.

In the special multimedia report “Rise of the Megacities,” GlobalPost attempted the kind of ambitious project that has become increasingly uncommon for established American media, let alone for an online news organization. Through months of tireless reporting, our correspondents Erik German and Solana Pyne delivered a series of in-depth written reports and five documentary videos that provide an extraordinary look at urban living in Dhaka, Bangladesh, one of the world’s sprawling urban behemoths.

Our correspondent James Foley, embedded with US troops in Afghanistan, brought us an incredible video of a firefight in Kunar province, and our Senior Correspondent Jean MacKenzie’s reporting on the war in Afghanistan sparked a year-long government probe into USAID funding which found that Afghan subcontractors have been funneling millions of dollars in American taxpayer money to the Taliban.

We also delivered an ambitious series of reports on the state of gay rights around the world, an examination of Africa’s middle class, in-depth reports on the global financial crisis, and a 70-part series on global education. These efforts are among the many ways that GlobalPost is delivering on our commitment to offer a breadth and depth of international coverage that is increasingly rare today in any medium.

We now have a staff of nearly 20 people at our Boston headquarters and we’ve added two new editors for 2011, one of whom is based in Mumbia, India. Their assignment is to expand GlobalPost’s breaking news content and to improve our engagement with social networks like Facebook and Twitter.

Our correspondent corps also continues to expand. On average each month, we pay for reporting from 100 to 120 journalists around the world. And this year we took a very important step and promoted seven strategically placed individuals to senior correspondent status – in Afghanistan, Russia, India, Brazil, and China, in Kenya for East Africa, and in Thailand for Southeast Asia. These outstanding journalists now report primarily for GlobalPost, allowing us to deepen and expand our journalism in these key parts of the world.

Coming in late January is a total redesign of GlobalPost.com which will dramatically improve navigation and content presentation. You will be able to find more stories and features faster and easier than on our current site. Video reports and photo slideshows will have their own sections with enhanced functionality and we will unveil new GlobalPost blogs and special features crafted to help you to make sense of a complex and ever-changing planet. Overall, the goal of this redesign, which has been in the planning and implementation stages since August, is to move GlobalPost well past its formative stage and to position our site for the editorial, audience, and revenue advances that are needed to drive our eventual success as a business.

And speaking of business, 2010 was a year of very good progress toward our financial goals. We are projecting that total net revenue from all sources will increase 150% year-over-year with excellent growth in advertising, our most important revenue stream, and from the syndication of our original content to traditional media. Three of the finest news organizations in America are now affiliates of GlobalPost and use our content: CBS News, the NewsHour on PBS, and most recently NPR. We are also proud to serve large daily newspapers such as the Newark (NJ) Star Ledger and the Pittsburgh (PA) Post Gazette, and international partners like the Times of India, Newsweek Japan, and the Australian Associated Press. We also re-launched the GlobalPost membership service in 2010 with new technology from our partner Press + and with lower prices and a new monthly membership option. We offer wonderful, unique benefits to members and when you join, you help to support GlobalPost’s overall journalism mission. Please follow this link and give serious consideration to becoming a GlobalPost member:

Personally, 2011 will mark the beginning of my 45th year in journalism. I can honestly say that I have never experienced a more exciting time in this profession despite its many and well publicized difficulties in recent years. Having worked at newspapers, broadcasting, and then cable television, all in the best of times for those media, I believe the opportunity before us in the online and digital world surpasses them all. Correspondingly, the intensity of the competition, the speed of change, and the technological complexities we face are each greater and more daunting than any I have seen before. Over these past two years we’ve come a considerable distance toward building a wonderful news organization and a business that we hope will stand the test of time.

Thank you again for your readership of GlobalPost. It is always deeply appreciated. You are most welcome to be in touch with me at any time at pbalboni@globalpost.com.

With my best wishes for a peaceful and prosperous New Year,

Phil Balboni

 


Message to Our Readers, July 2010

By Philip S. Balboni, President, CEO and Co-Founder

I want to offer a brief update on GlobalPost’s progress this year and also take this opportunity to express my gratitude and that of our staff for the enthusiasm and loyalty so many of you have shown over the months since our launch in January 2009. We deeply appreciate it.

GlobalPost has been one of the leaders in the movement to create new, more sustainable models for journalism at a time when news organizations everywhere are struggling with historic forces of change driven by technology, new consumer habits, and an eroding economic support system for traditional media. Our particular mission is to help fill the enormous void that has grown up in coverage of the world by US news organizations. More than ever before in history, we need knowledge of other countries and of the global forces that are impacting our economy, our environment, and our very security.

That is why GlobalPost exists and why we are working so hard to offer excellence in global reporting while also building a company with the financial strength to support our journalism mission.  I am proud to report that GlobalPost is making excellent progress and in an effort to keep you, our readers, informed let me share just a few recent highlights. 

Most importantly, the growth of our online audience continues to be one of our great strengths. In May, GlobalPost had 905,000 unique visitors from more than 222 countries, and we are very much on pace to achieve our 2010 goal of one million unique users a month. More than 4 million people have visited our site so far us this year and we expect our year-end total audience to be close to 10 million.

Nearly half of our total readership each month comes from returning visitors, a strong demonstration of loyalty and satisfaction for an online news site and I want to thank all of you who are regular visitors to GlobalPost. Please ask your friends to give us a try.

Our reporting from across the globe continues to expand and each month we employ more than 125 free-lance journalists, including our core team of more than 50 correspondents in every region of the world. Our goals for the remainder of the year include significantly enhanced coverage of the war in Afghanistan; expanded reporting from a number of strategically important countries including Brazil, Russia, India, and China; more background reporting and analysis on major global trends and events; and a continued commitment to high quality video reporting through our On Location series.

I am also very pleased to report that GlobalPost is on track to have a strong year financially with a significant increase in total revenues. We are particularly pleased by the growth in advertising revenue, our most important source of income. The syndication of our content to other media entities in the United States and around the world also continues to grow with significant upside potential in the years ahead.

One of the most innovative parts of GlobalPost is our Passport membership service. Passport was created to give our readers an opportunity to support our journalism while also receiving premium content and special benefits available only to members. Although we are committed to keeping GlobalPost free and open to all readers, we encourage all of you who visit us regularly to joinPassport.

Later in July, we’ll institute new membership prices -- just $1.99 per month, or $22 a year, for a basicPassport membership or $49.95 for a full year’s premium membership that brings access to additional content. We hope you’ll join with us soon.

It’s important for me to remind those of you who have been with us for some time, as well as those of you who are new to GlobalPost, that we are a totally independent news organization. We are funded for the long term by a truly exceptional group of individual investors. GlobalPost has complete editorial independence, hews to no political point of view, and has no ownership ties to any other media company. Our sole dedication is to you, the readers.

All in all, 2010 is shaping up as a year of continued strong progress for GlobalPost. We could not succeed without your support and engagement, so please come often and tell us what you like and also what you believe needs improvement.

You can always reach me at pbalboni@globalpost.com.

With our best wishes, Phil Balboni

 


Year-End Message from President and Co-Founder Philip Balboni

This has been an extraordinary first year for GlobalPost. Steeped in growth and accomplishment and the forging of a multitude of wonderful partnerships, our site has become one of the most widely recognized leaders in charting a new path for the future of journalism. Most importantly, as we look forward to our second year in 2010, we are grateful to you, our readers and supporters throughout the world. Millions of you visited GlobalPost in 2009 and you came from virtually every nation and territory on earth. We are humbled by your commitment to GlobalPost and we reaffirm our dedication to the highest ethical and journalistic standards, and to our mission of covering as many of the world’s most interesting and important stories as our resources will permit.

During the past year, we built a strong brand and a highly distinctive website and we assembled a top-notch editorial and business team at our headquarters in Boston and around the world. As part of that team, our network of more than 70 correspondents spread across more than 50 countries in every region of the globe has become GlobalPost’s greatest asset. We are intensely proud of our correspondent corps. At a time when international news coverage continues to diminish, GlobalPost has become a trusted and reliable destination for the many journalists of all ages who have a passion to remain in the field as well as for those who aspire to join them as a foreign correspondent. Finally, we’ve fashioned a unique identity for GlobalPost that is beginning to establish long-term value and that will serve as the foundation for a vibrant business in the years to come.

One of the great successes of 2009 is the rapid growth of our audience. Perhaps the most common refrain that I heard when I was developing the business plan for GlobalPost was that no one really cared about international news and that we would never be able to build a sufficiently large audience in America or elsewhere to achieve financial viability. We’ve proven decisively that the skeptics were wrong. More than 4 million people have visited GlobalPost since our launch in January. More than three-quarters of a million unique visitors came to us in November, to use the internet terminology that defines audience success for any website. That total far surpassed our goal of achieving 600,000 unique users in a single month, a goal we set before our launch on Jan. 12, 2009.

And this audience is stunningly global. We’ve had visitors from 230 countries, less than a handful of every country and territory on earth. Consistently each month we have visits from more than 200 countries and those sending the most readers are the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, India, Australia, China, Germany, Japan, France, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey, Brazil and Sweden.

We have also forged a remarkable array of editorial and promotional partnerships with both traditional and new media that have been enormously helpful in expanding awareness of GlobalPost. These partnerships include the PBS NewsHour, CBS News, AOL, the Huffington Post, Reuters, WorldFocus (also via PBS), Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor, NewsMax and many others.

From the financial perspective, launching a new enterprise into the winds of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s has made the job of building the revenue side of our business much more difficult and challenging. And yet the three revenue streams that we created – advertising on our site, syndication of our original content and our premium content paid membership Passport — are all operating well and with varying degrees of success. GlobalPost was able to achieve meaningful revenue growth in 2009. We also managed our business and capital with great care. In the digital age, a journalism enterprise, to be successful, must avoid the spending pitfalls and the overreaching that were often common practice in many traditional media companies. We believe in fiscal restraint, prudent management and efficiency of operations.

I want to take this opportunity to thank the companies and advertising agencies that believed in us and supported us in 2009. In particular, I would note Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, Bank of America, Siemens, Merrill Lynch, Boston law firm Nutter McClennen & Fish, Tufts University, Singapore Airlines and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, one of the world’s leading cancer centers. Our thanks also to advertising agencies Digitas, Starcom Worldwide, Hill Holliday, MEC Global, PHD and Digital Root.

GlobalPost is well positioned for revenue growth in 2010. Our syndication business has seen substantial growth and we now have a growing body of affiliates in the United States and internationally. They include the New York Daily News, the Newark (NJ) Star Ledger, the Pittsburgh (PA) Post-Gazette, the South China Morning Post, the Cambodia Daily, CBS News and CBS Radio, the Australian Associated Press and others too numerous to mention here. We are very optimistic about continued growth in this sector of our business.

GlobalPost has also been a pioneer in generating consumer revenue online through our Passport premium membership service. There is a rapidly growing body of opinion that the future of journalism is intricately connected to direct financial support from online readers. We believe deeply in that, just as we do in building a community of readers who share our passionate interest in the world and who are empowered to share their thoughts and story ideas with us. We continue to believe that quality journalism has great value and that it is worthy of readers’ direct financial support. But we also believe this choice should be voluntary. We hope to find new, more effective ways to ask for your financial support just as we hope to find better ways to engage and reward you for that support. We are convinced there is a natural partnership here that can work on the web as it has always worked in the traditional media world.

Overall, it has been an exceptional year. Although our journey is just beginning, and we have a long road to travel, we are proud of our strong beginning and we are deeply grateful to all who have believed in us and supported us: our wonderful investors, our talented staff, our business and editorial partners, and our readers who most especially make it all worthwhile.

With best wishes for the holidays and the New Year, Phil Balboni

Philip S. Balboni

President,
Chief Executive Officer
Co-Founder