Sifted recently put out a list of media startups to watch in 2021. In the mix was a Berlin-based news website with a very unusual publishing model.
Forum.eu, as the name would suggest, is a website that tries to foster debate on the biggest topics impacting Europe. That ranges from 'Agenda 2045' (where Europe will be 100 years after World War II) to 'mental wealth' (how Europeans will reinvent the planet).
It does so with a mix of original reporting and aggregated content from news outlets in the UK, the US and across Europe, but with a twist. It has a team of multilingual editors who translate all articles (including aggregated content) into six languages, in case you want to read The Telegraph in Greek or El Mundo in English.
This ambitious vision for news content got rolling in July last year, in the middle of a pandemic. The founders had to recruit, initiate and manage new hires from a distance. Less than a third of Forum.eu's staff are based in Germany, the remaining 20 or so are dotted around eight other European countries.
In this week's podcast, Paul Ostwald, the co-founder and editor-at-large of Forum.eu, talks about the motivation of launching the website during a pandemic and how it has adjusted to working remotely from day one. That means getting people (who have never met before) comfortable working together, putting systems of support in place and creating a virtual office space.