From MAIS to an online news platform

DA alumna Diana Mautner Markhof on her career since graduating from MAIS 23 in 2020


When was iGlobenews established?
Please let me start by stating that we at iGlobenews greatly appreciate the support of ClubDA and the DA community. The “i” in iGlobenews stands for internet. We are an online news media platform start-up. iGlobenews went online on March 3, 2020 after being in the planning and development stages for 9 months prior to going public. You only have one shot at a first impression – so we wanted to make the right impression from the start regarding content and presentation. You can find us at and on all popular social media platforms (FB, LinkedIn and Twitter).

What has inspired you to start your own media platform? Was there a specific moment or was the idea of iGlobenews developed over a longer period of time?
The interest and the desire to make a difference is what I believe motivates the whole iGlobenews team. We are dedicated to excellence in our work product. You could say we are all news junkies, who love to write.
To answer your question regarding a specific moment or idea, I would have to say: no there was no such event. The entire DA experience and the work I did for the student-run newspaper Polemics were the catalyst for the idea of iGlobenews, which as it turns out, was more novel than we thought. We are not a syndicated news group, nor are we professional journalists or academics. We do not represent interest groups, nor are we embedded in an institution. What sets us apart is our approach: iGlobenews is an open news platform and we are an independent and objective source of news. Going forward we hope that some of our readers might become guest contributors.

Was there any existing news platform from which you have drawn inspiration?
We decided right from the start, that if we were going to do this, we do this right. We did our homework. We conducted our own market surveys and investigated what content was on offer by other media platforms.

Who else was involved in the process of getting iGlobenews started?
The original idea started in my head, but only by sharing this idea with the iGlobenews team and getting everyone on board did we make it this far. The entire iGlobenews team was excited about being part of this project right from the start. All of us are MAIS 23 alumni who share the same passion for writing and publishing.

How is iGlobenews funded? Is it affiliated to organisations?
The initial seed funding was provided by the Austrian Center for International Studies (ACIS), an Austrian-based think tank. We are grateful to ACIS for believing in our idea and continuing to provide guidance and support. We are run as a not-for-profit organisation.

Who is on your board; who has advisory roles?
The iGlobenews Advisory Board is a group of top experts in their respective fields who have agreed to provide guidance and support to iGlobenews. They have also agreed to contribute articles to the website. The DA community will know most of our Advisory Board members: Professor Thomas Row, Professor Gerhard Mangott, Professor Daniel Garcia, Professor Mihai-Razvan Ungureanu and Professor Susanne Weigelin-Schwiedrzik are but some of our members. The Executive Director of ACIS, Dr. Frances Mautner Markhof, is also on the Advisory Board. The complete list of all our Advisory Board members can be found on our website.

What makes iGlobenews stand out? If you were a business, what would you say is your unique selling point?
We believe that our unique selling point is our work product and the fact, that we consider our website an open news platform. We aim to become a platform for an open exchange of ideas and welcome pitches from our readership. We also want to attract academics, journalists and practitioners to contribute to our website. Instead of cancelling opinions, we believe that a culture of open discourse is important. What unites all writers at iGlobenews is the respect for different views, while sharing a core set of values.
We also see our website design and user-friendly interface a selling point. We have put much thought and invested much time into all aspects of our presentation, web-design and publication format. This process is ongoing. We strive to constantly improve our website by adding new and better functions und user-interface options.
Last but not least we see our articles as our top selling point. We aim to offer in-depth insights into topics, without becoming too academic. The reactions from our readership have been very positive.

What makes it different from other publications? (what new perspectives does it offer?) What are the strengths of iGlobenews?
The editorial policy of iGlobenews encourages the exchange of ideas representing a wide range of political, economic and social views on global issues. We encourage our contributors and our readership to consider many differing viewpoints. Ultimately, we aim to bring together a community of open-minded individuals and to stimulate discussion on important current issues by offering new insights into their complex contexts. We publish our articles online on a rolling basis every week.

Do you see potential for improvement?
We are always striving to improve and develop our site. We welcome suggestions from our readership.
This week we are launching our iGlobenews Newsletter which will provide our readers with a selection of our latest articles. I hope many in our DA community will visit our website, follow our social media presence and sign up for our Newsletter.

What topics / regions of the world are you addressing / focusing on?
As our name implies, iGlobenews covers a wide variety of topics from all corners of the globe. Geographically our articles deal with all regions. Being an Austrian-based news platform, we of course cover Austrian and Vienna news. We report on current events in the areas of politics, security, economics, science and social issues.

How do you select topics which you would like to cover?
We have a pitch management system which ensures that at any given time our articles cover diverse subjects from various geographic areas. Mostly, it is the writer him/herself who will approach us with a pitch. On occasion we will suggest certain topics we find newsworthy.

How does your internal process look like from pitch, to editing to publication?
A considerable amount of time is devoted to research, writing and editing every article. From pitch to publication, each article is edited by at least two, sometimes three editors. Our pitch management system ensures that we have articles up for publication each week.
We definitely encourage the submission of pitches. All details regarding how to submit a pitch are found on our website.

Who is your target audience and who is writing for you? Are you looking for more authors?
We aim to write our articles so that they will be of interest to experts and non-experts alike. As many international and multinational organizations are based in Vienna, our target audience also includes the large international community and the missions in Vienna. Our targeted readers could potentially become future guest contributors. Typically, we are not looking for student writers – we do not see ourselves as a competition to Polemics. We have made a few exceptions to this general rule, but these are rare. You could call us Polemics 2.0. for graduates of the DA.
Since going online 3 weeks ago, we already have had a number of DA alumni who have approached us with very good pitches, some of which have already turned into very good articles. We hope this trend will continue as more and more people find out about iGlobenews.

What are your ambitions for the future? Where would you like to be with iGlobenews in 5 years?
We take it one day at a time. iGlobenews will hopefully continue to gain support and continue to attract interesting contributors and dedicated followers.
In the near future we plan to launch of our own podcast series, iGlobenews Talks, which will offer our listeners podcasts on various topics and hopefully bring new readers and listeners into our iGlobenews Community.
So to conclude, iGlobenews will continue to bring global views.

[April 2021]