About our journalism

The Correspondent is the member-funded journalism platform for independent voices. Now more than ever, we are proud to be your antidote to the daily news grind. We refuse to speculate about the latest scare or breaking news, but work instead to uncover the underlying forces that shape our world. We are entirely ad-free, beholden only to our 52,000 paying members and our journalistic principles.

“The Correspondent's way of approaching the news business is almost the purest expression of a humane kind of journalism.” — The Guardian

By reading and sharing our articles, you help support The Correspondent’s new form of constructive journalism. Most articles are in Dutch, but we've started publishing select stories in English and plan to go international in the near future. Sign up for free updates and the latest stories.

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About our readers

The Correspondent got its start in 2013 with a record-breaking crowdfunding campaign in the Netherlands. Some 20,000 pioneering members, with total contributions of more than $1.7 million, showed their support for The Correspondent's mission of producing in-depth journalism that actively engages readers. Since then, members get to discuss and share quality pieces that provide context for interpreting other news stories and the world around us. Journalists in turn benefit from a ready network of member expertise.

The stories emerging from this unique online collaboration are changing journalism. The Correspondent gives sound knowledge and new voices a firm foothold in the media, shaping the stories we tell one another.

Read more about what readers can mean to reporters and why we’re convinced loyal readers and subscriptions are the future of journalism.

Our founding principles

At the heart of The Correspondent is our founding document from 2013 – a manifesto of sorts – and these ten core principles have informed how we’ve built The Correspondent:

Daily, but going beyond the latest news

The Correspondent will publish fresh stories on a daily basis, but it aims to uncover, explain, and highlight the long-term developments and underlying structures that have the power to shape our world, rather than speculating about the latest hype, scare, or breaking news story.

From 'news' to 'new'

The Correspondent prioritizes relevance over recentness, looks for alternative ways of doing journalism, is transparent about its journalistic choices and dilemmas, values thorough fact-checking, and takes into account in its own reporting the ways in which the wider news media shape our perceptions of the world.

Ideals over ideology

The Correspondent recognizes and values the fact that its authors are not objective automatons out there recording The Truth, but subjective beings, rooted in ideals and motivated by ideas. While correspondents are expected to be fair and accurate in their reporting, they are explicitly not expected to suppress the surprise, hope, anger, or enthusiasm that gave rise to this reporting in the first place.

Themes and connections

The Correspondent believes that dividing news into traditional categories like national, international, politics, and business, no longer makes sense in an increasingly globalized and networked world. The Correspondent aims for its authors to report on themes that transcend classic beats themes like privacy, energy, or the economy of the future.

Journalism before profit

While The Correspondent is a commercial, for-profit enterprise, its business model focuses on selling quality content to readers, rather than selling readers to advertisers. Subscription fees and donations are its main source of income, and at least 95% of revenue will be reinvested in journalistic endeavors and further development of the platform. The ultimate goal is to improve journalism, not to fill the pockets of shareholders.

From readers to participants

The Correspondent wants to establish a lasting and meaningful relationship with its readers. Seen as members of a community rather than simply consumers of content, readers will be asked to weigh in on the investment of new funds and encouraged to contribute their expertise on specific topics. The Correspondent believes that a one-way, producer-consumer relationship between a news medium and its readership is a thing of the past. While vigilant about its editorial independence, The Correspondent believes that active reader involvement is crucial for a healthy, thriving platform and sound journalism.

Partners, not advertisers

To keep from becoming beholden to advertisers, The Correspondent is entirely free of ads. The subscription fee paid by readers (currently equivalent to about $70 a year) is its main source of income. The Correspondent may enter into partnerships with third parties, such as universities or research institutes, but these partners will have no stake in the profitability of The Correspondent, and The Correspondent will be fully transparent about the nature and terms of such partnerships.

Like-minded individuals, not target groups

Because it is ad-free, The Correspondent does not have to think about target groups or tailor its content to please, for instance, well-heeled readers between the ages of 25 and 40. Instead, anyone who subscribes to the vision and mission of The Correspondent is welcome to join. The Correspondent sees its readers as curiosity-driven individuals who cannot be reduced to demographics.

Ambitious ideals, modest claims

The Correspondent does not pretend to constitute a substitute for existing, mainstream media; rather, it intends to supplement traditional media, filling a gap in the current news landscape by looking beyond the daily news grind. Being an addition rather than a replacement, The Correspondent will gladly collaborate with other outlets if such collaboration seems fruitful and worthwhile.

Fully digital

The Correspondent is a digital journalism platform available on computer, tablet, and smartphone; in time, The Correspondent may develop apps for Android, iOS and other operating systems. It will be possible for members to share articles with non-members in a variety of ways. The precise form and capabilities take shape through ongoing experimentation, as The Correspondent works with design agency Momkai to develop the platform to best serve online journalism.

Empowered by Respondens

At The Correspondent we use our own editor, Respondens – a new kind of Content Management System which allows correspondents to truly function as discussion leaders. Designed to suit the needs of storytellers, Respondens makes it easy for authors to control story streams, create layouts, draw on reader expertise, and work with the editorial staff.

We plan to make Respondens available to other publishers and news outlets in 2017. The prospect of Respondens as a new editor for your business or publication can raise a lot of questions. We would be glad to explain the concept, address your questions, and help you determine whether Respondens is right for you.

Reach out to us

For questions, interview requests, or speaking engagements, please get in touch with Editorial Manager Floor Milar at sprekers@decorrespondent.nl.

If you’d like to know more about Respondens, contact Project Manager René Clerc at rene@decorrespondent.nl.

Editors and publishers who would like to reprint our articles can contact our International Editor Maaike Goslinga at maaike@decorrespondent.nl.