Head of Visuals, NZZ

Content that I pay for

May 4, 2019

Recently, someone asked me how much I’m paying for content. I had to admit that I don’t really know. So I compiled this list – turns out it’s between $1300 and $1600.


  • The New York Times – $160. I pay for it a) because I get their journalism is valuable, not just to me, but to b) because they produce so much outstanding visual journalism that I’d keep hitting their paywall.
  • Washington Post – $19. I have actually no idea how I ended up with such a cheap subscription. The reasons for subscribing are pretty much the same as for the NYT, but if it were a lot more expensive, this is probably the one of those two I’d cancel.
  • Neue Zürcher Zeitung – $0. I pay for it by working for them :-)
  • The Correspondent – $50. I always liked their approach to journalism, but since I don’t understand any Dutch, I could only read the very few pieces that they translated to English. Now that’s they are launching an international edition in English, I’m all in.
  • Dummy – $32. A German magazine, six monothematic issues per year, usually great at finding unconventional approaches to well-worn topics.
  • Zwölf – $52. A Swiss football magazine that is just very good and which I happily support even though I rarely find enough time to read it.
  • Bergwelten – $72. Another print magazine, serves as inspiration for new hiking adventures.
  • Netflix – $192. Well…
  • Spotify – $156. Probably the subscription I value the most. Because I need music everywhere, it lets me listen to more or less anything I want, whenever I want. And it has very smart recommendation algorithms that help me discover new music and that allow me to just hit play without thinking about what exactly I’d like to listen to.
  • Audible – $132. I’ve never been into audiobooks. Since becoming a dad, though, I find myself in a lot of situations where reading is not an option, but listening is.


  • Wikipedia – $200-$500. For about ten years, I’ve donated to Wikipedia, amounts varying depending on how much spare money I have at the end of the year. I do so because it’s still by far the best entry point to knowledge of any sort and I want to support that – both for myself, but mainly for anyone else who might depend on a free source of information more than I do.
  • Open Street Map – $100. Similar reasons as with Wikipedia. Because we need excellent maps that are not optimised for commerce.
  • Craig Mod – $100. I’ve been a fan of Craig’s work ever since I met him in Tokyo in 2009. Glad to pay a bit so he can do even more of it.
  • Kottke.org – $30. Jason Kottke has always been an inspiration and always helps me discover interesting things on the web, so it seems more than fair to support him with a modest amount.

Plus: Books, tons of books. I’m keeping track of them over here.

These are great times for journalism. This is how I work:


I grew up as a journalist of words. It remains one of my favourite means to tell stories. Chosen wisely, put in the correct order and structured well, words are as powerful as ever.


When we build applications, when we report and present stories in novel ways, code is what drives them. Speak the language of computers, make them work for you.

How I Learnt to Code


Call it data journalism, if you will. Numbers and data in general are a wonderful raw material to work with. I dig for stories and tell them in visually compelling ways.


My work has appeared in Neue Zürcher Zeitung, The Guardian, Quartz, Spiegel Online, Das Magazin, Tages-Anzeiger, SonntagsZeitung, TagesWoche, among others.

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