African journalist who I interrupted Jen Psaki’s last press conference at the White House Earlier this month he said that financial processing company Stripe is cutting off its print income.
Today, News Africa reporter Simon Atiba provided The Post with copies of letters telling him that his website’s offer of a “lifetime” subscription – for $1,490 – violated Stripe’s policies, and so he had to start from scratch with another payment processor.
Hi Simon, We are writing to inform you that we have determined that your business, todaynewsafrica.com… is in violation of the Stripe Services Agreement. Specifically, we cannot accept payments for subscriptions over a year or extended warranties, as stated on our site List of banned companies‘ reads an email on Sunday signed by ‘The Stripe Team’.
“We apply a 10-day notice period before action is taken on your account. Until June 8, 2022, you can proceed with processing normally, but after this date, your account will be closed and you will no longer be able to accept payments. We will continue to pay proceeds to your bank account until you receive all your money.”
The initial email added that the decision can be appealed. However, in a subsequent email on Monday, the company told Atiba, whose Africa-focused outlet also offers $149 per year subscriptions, that its decision was “final.”
Cameroon-born Atiba claimed his post was being “treated worse than criminals” due to backlash from Basaki’s final briefing on May 13, and added that he found it “suspicious” that he was being kicked off the podium shortly after sparking outrage over his boycott. Psaki is on her last day on the job.
Stripe’s press team did not respond to requests for comment.
The San Francisco-based financial processing firm has emerged as a major business over the past decade — with investors including politically dissident billionaires such as Peter Thiel, Elon Musk and Mark Andreessen.
Stripe’s decision is a serious blow to seven-year-old Atiba magazine, which relies on subscriptions rather than advertising revenue. Atiba says that while other companies handle payments, the Stripe platform is an “industry standard” and is used by other news sites.
“It’s really sad. It’s heartbreaking. I don’t even know where to start.
“We may now have no choice but to leave the business, and close the store,” said Jos Natale, chair of the board of advisors for Today News Africa, in a statement provided by Atiba.
Atiba, 42, founded Today News Africa in 2015 and took to the US National Theater late last year with his band. Continuous interrogation during briefings. He often sits in the White House press room that his occupant has left vacant—mostly Time magazine. then Loud shouting questions, which are sometimes answered.
Atiba says he was subjected to harsh treatment from government officials and criminals while reporting in African countries such as Nigeria and Cameroon, and he stands out for his efforts to get him summoned in the capital.
Most reporters sit politely in the back half of the White House briefing room without being called for weeks or months. And some news outlets with permanent seats haven’t been called by the White House press secretary in the whole year since COVID-19 restrictions were lifted last June — a marked contrast to Ateba, whose voice can be heard routinely booming as television reporters turn to control briefings. By asking half a dozen or so questions each.
Ateba often raises questions that concern Africans, such as US funding for malaria control or about the temporary protected status of citizens of various African countries living in the United States. But it also screams questions that other journalists might be less inclined to ask. For example, he was the first person in the room to ask Psaki about him She mentioned that she was looking for a job at CNN or MSNBC.
However, Psaki’s final briefing angered the White House Correspondents’ Association, which made Atiba Threatened to be stripped His associate membership is in response to his unusually annoying request that Saki contact reporters far in the room. Several journalists saw the anger as abhorrent that he stole the show from Psaki, who had just spoken emotionally of her looming departure—though others, frustrated at serving as human furniture at every briefing, quietly expressed their support.
Otaiba said he thinks it’s no coincidence that he suddenly saw his outlet’s income threatened, which he says also threatens the livelihoods of a network of freelance journalists mostly based in Africa.
“If you were in my shoes, would you find that a little fishy?” Atiba said about the timing of Stripe’s move. “I have no evidence to accuse anyone, any particular person – no, there is no evidence, but the timing is a bit suspicious.”
Stripe representatives said in their Monday email to Ateba: “We are unable to do business with any company that we believe presents a high financial risk or violates our own policies. In this case, after a thorough review of your account, we have determined that your business falls within these guidelines… This decision is final and in order to protect our operations, we cannot provide further details as to why your account was closed.”
The White House did not respond to a request for comment.
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