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Daily Maverick

Daily Maverick, a South African online newspaper, was founded by Branko Brkic in 2009. It is edited by Branko Brkic. It is managed by an independent private company. The Daily Maverick website states that the publication offers “unique blends of news, information and analysis delivered from our newsrooms at Cape Town and Johannesburg in South Africa.”

Charalambous states that the website also offers “a platform for photojournalism” which provides readers with an insight into current events in South Africa, Africa, and around the world.
Assisting editor Marianne Thamm and Pierre de Vos (constitution law expert), founder General Secretary of COSATU Jay Naidoo Sisonke Msimang and Greg Marinovich are some of the contributors.

Daily Maverick is part The Guardian’s Africa network.

The Daily Maverick website went live in October 2009. The name and values of the Daily Maverick website are derived form Maverick, a South African business magazine that Brkic edited from 2005 to 2008. American news sites The Daily Beast (and The Huffington Post) also had an influence on the design. Brkic was born and raised in Yugoslavia. He arrived in South Africa in 1991.

Daily Maverick was the first investor in technology entrepreneur Alan Knott Craig Jnr. He introduced Brkic and Charalambous. He says in his book Mobinomics:

In the online media space, I invested in a venture that was run by one the most determined and driven mavericks I’ve ever met. Branko Brkic is the editor and publisher at the Daily Maverick. This journal provides news and commentary and helps to shape our view of noisy and disruptive democracy.
— Alan Knott Craig Jnr, Mobinomics – Mxit and Africa’s Mobile Revolution

Charalambous is a chartered accountant who joined the team one month before the site was launched in 2009. He was born in Port Elizabeth and received his education there.

Phillip de Wet was the former deputy editor. He had been with Daily Maverick from its inception in 2009. From 2005 to 2008, he was also the deputy editors of Maverick magazine. He left the team in late 2011. Ranjeni Munusamy, associate editor, began writing for Daily Maverick on April 2012.

The publication launched Daily Maverick, a printed newspaper, in August 2020 at the height of South Africa’s Covid-19 pandemic. Heather Robertson is the editor of the newspaper. It is published every Saturday. It can be purchased at Pick n Pay and Exclusive Books as well as Spar and other retail locations across the country.

The publication’s focus has been on original content since its inception in 2009. Internet users can access the content without paying for it and they are funded by advertising. Its online advertising model focuses on display advertising that is focused on one large banner ad per webpage, which is separate from the editorial content.

The Daily Maverick team consisted of 20 full-time journalists, editorial support staff, and a network op-ed contributors.

Maverick Insider, a voluntary membership program that isn’t subject to a donation or paywall, was launched by the Daily Maverick in 2018. The Daily Maverick will continue to be free of charge thanks to contributions from readers.

The Daily Maverick features articles from Declassified UK. This group of independent journalists investigate British foreign policy and Britain’s intelligence agencies.

Chantelle Benjamin, a business writer, says that the website “appears user-friendly with interesting content and an attractive layout.”
Daily Maverick is described by the Mail & Guardian newspaper as an “independent paper”, and Tanya Pampalone, Mail & Guardian executive editor, says that it’s “part Slate, a little Daily Beast, and a lot Huffington Post but it’s all homegrown, serving up local and international news with fresh angles and insight into why it matters for South Africa.”

Anton Harber, Caxton Professor in Journalism at Wits University, and founder editor of Mail & Guardian, described Brkic in 2011 as “a groundbreaker” and Daily Maverick was “a vibrant and valuable site, full opinions and analysis that live up its name, and which frequently exposes the boring and predictable publishing that dominates our main stream.” He says Daily Maverick pushes the journalistic boundaries sometimes with great success, occasionally crossing a line. Daily Maverick is a “shelter” for journalists who are more open to freedom than those in more conservative newsrooms.

Gill Moodie, media commentator says that “The thoughtful, left field news and analysis website quickly gained an audience and became a fixture of our media landscape.”

Daily Maverick was the editor of major news stories for 2012, including the strike by Marikana miners. Herman Manson is the editor of MarkLives media website. He says that they are “clearly leading in terms of political intelligence and insight into what’s going on at grassroots.” Sipho Hlongwane was awarded the Best Youngster award at the 2012 Bookmarks Awards. Before becoming a Daily Maverick contributor, he described it as “unspeakably black and upper-middle class”. Phillip de Wet, who was once deputy editor, described their ideal demographic as “young and urban”.

This American Life, a globally syndicated radio program, opened Episode 501: “The view from In Here” in July 2013. Richard Poplak read his satire “Open letter to South Africa (from foreign media)” that was published in Daily Maverick the month before.

In an opinion piece in The New York Times, Bill Keller called Daily Maverick “feisty” during November 2013. It was a discussion about foreign news coverage.

The website had more than 300,000 unique visitors per month as of July 2013.

The Daily Maverick team launched an online newspaper for Africa’s continent Free African Media in February 2011. In June 2011, they launched a subscription-based iPad newspaper iMaverick. The Newsfire newswire service was also launched beta at the ANC National Conference in Mangaung, December 2012.

The Daily Maverick hosted the investigative journalism website DeclassifiedUK, which was founded in 2019 by Matt Kennard (journalist) and Mark Curtis (historian).