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Spiegel Online slashes English section

The Local · 20 Dec 2013, 13:20

Published: 20 Dec 2013 13:20 GMT+01:00

Despite Spiegel Online International having experienced a surge in demand as a result of the internet monitoring scandal involving US intelligence agency, the NSA, a spokeswoman said the section's outgoings were more than it was making.

"We are successful in terms of branding, but the editorial costs are too high to maintain in their current form," she told Berlin newspaper the Tagesspiegel.

As well as affecting permanent staff, the cuts will also include freelancers who contribute to the site. Five full time positions will be cut to 1.4.

There were almost half a million users recorded on the English-language website from the US alone in July.

With fewer positions the quality and international prestige of the brand "Spiegel" will be difficult to maintain, according to Tagesspiegel.

Funding is also expected to come from the articles themselves as the online magazine moves to charge for some, with others still being available for free.

Spiegel Online is not the only site to have cut funding to its English-language section. Newspapers including Welt and Bild had English online sections that eventually folded.

The news about Spiegel comes as Paris-based news website Presseurop announced that it was closing the current form of its website on December 20th due to lack of funding.

Launched in 2009, the website was described by the European Commissioner responsible for Communication, Margot Wallström as "the expression of our desire to facilitate, to encourage and to support the creation of a European public forum for communication, discussion and debate."

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