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Rafat Ali To Leave PaidContent Behind for New Chapter

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood May 22, 2010 at 4:48AM

One of my daily reliables is respected digital news site PaidContent, founded by Rafat Ali eight years ago. Ever since he sold PaidContent to The Guardian's ContentNext two years back, Ali's future has been unclear. The last time I met with him, before he moved to New York some months back, he was pondering various options for his future. Well, one of them is a summer tour of Central Asia after he leaves PaidContent in July, which is well-deserved.
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Thompson on Hollywood

One of my daily reliables is respected digital news site PaidContent, founded by Rafat Ali eight years ago. Ever since he sold PaidContent to The Guardian's ContentNext two years back, Ali's future has been unclear. The last time I met with him, before he moved to New York some months back, he was pondering various options for his future. Well, one of them is a summer tour of Central Asia after he leaves PaidContent in July, which is well-deserved.

Then Ali will figure out his next chapter. Whatever it is, while journalism is under attack on many fronts, I know that Ali will uphold the high standard that he has set for the rest of us. Here's his "On to Life 2.0" exit letter:

As for my future, the honest answer is, I am in the middle of figuring it out. The good part is I have lots of choices; the bad part is that I have lots of choices. Very likely it will be another startup, in a larger media and marketing space. But in the immediate future, you will see my head pop up in places like Iceland, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Socotra Island (Google it!) and other parts of Central Asia. That’s the head-clearing trip of a lifetime, for the summer months after I finish here.

This article is related to: Digital Future, Media


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.