By the time you're reading this, I should be on a (very) short Easter break. One of the very few I've had in the last two years since we started Romania-Insider.com. Around this time of April, we're celebrating our anniversary. It's a quiet celebration, for the time being: we're happy to have got this far, to have helped hundreds of thousands of readers to learn more about Romania, and to constantly deliver timely, quality content. (The party will follow later on this spring, we'll let you know ) And I'm not saying this just for the sake of self promotion. We have readers writing to us all the time, thanking us for what we write, advising us on what we should write next and sometimes, but thankfully not too often, criticizing, disagreeing or pointing out potential errors. And I've learned that all of this, the positive and the negative, is more valuable than I could possibly have imagined two years ago.
I promised myself I would write a text like this every year in April, to mark new steps in our progress. Since last year's installment, my journalist-turned-entrepreneur saga has developed. And I've realized it will never be easy – well, unless one of us finds buried treasure or an equivalent financial miracle occurs. The beautiful part is that it doesn't matter. We love to do this and somehow, we make it work. And we have so many ideas for future development. In fact , we suffer from an excess of ideas, rather than a shortage, and we are often prevented by time and resources from doing even a fraction of what we would like. Frustrating at times, yes, but it always keeps us moving forward.
Once again I have learned how important this 'we' is, after the story started with 'I'. Finding the right mix of people you want to work with. Replacing people who decide to part ways. Passionate people, who put in extra and pitch in even when times are tough. And times really are tough, no matter how hard some try to sugar coat it.
The first year was all about wrestling with the new realities of my life, making it work and trying to learn so much at the same time. Thinking back, it contrasts sharply with the second year, when I've had the chance to fine tune things, be more in control of my life and clearer about what I want Romania-Insider.com to achieve.
Even if I am not involved in the advertising part of the business - as we keep content and advertising totally separate; yes, we manage to do that, even if it is painfully difficult sometimes and not so many people understand it – I still know how tough the advertising market is at the moment. And probably we would have never made it this far if our partners hadn't trusted us, liked our project and had good results by advertising with us; without our team that works miracles on the advertising side, we'd be lost. Hats off to them, as their work is not easy! If you'd like to support the work we do here for our readers and your company by making it more visible on Romania-Insider.com, you should contact one of our colleagues here.
On the other side is the incredible team of passionate journalists who write and edit alongside me, our contributors and guest writers. We're still a small team and always looking for contributors, but we're compensating for the small size of our organization by taking the time to teach each other and learn from our work, and by committing to stay truly independent from political or business influence.
I've asked around. So few media companies in Romania care about their journalists, about the way they develop as professionals. They lay down stories and interviews for them and that's it, each gets whatever they can out of it, training on the job and the occasional bossy yelling as a form of feedback. Of all my friends in the media – and they are plenty – none has ever had a coaching session with their editor. Never. Never been asked whether they like what they're doing, what they've learned, where they see themselves in the future. And these are big media groups we're talking about; years ago I would have probably been tempted by a job there. Not anymore. Here, we have freedom and ways to grow by truly achieving our potential, whatever that is. To other journalists like ourselves, who went on their own and strive to find better ways to fulfill their passion, way to go!
So again, hats off to my business partner Volker, who makes sure we're financially safe and who is always committed to preserving our editorial team's independence, to my life partner Andrei, who shares my passion for journalism, to Nicoleta – zen!- who works miracles and spreads good vibes, to Liam- our words wizard, to Irina, to Georgiana, to Florentina, for their incredible passion, to all our contributors. And, to continue my Oscar-award-acceptance-like speech, to my life coach Magda and to Dragos & the engineers from our web hosting company Appnor, and to everybody who has ever helped us.
As always, hats off to you, our readers, who take an interest in our country and take time to read about it.
Corina Saceanu, founder and managing editor