About our journalism platform

The Correspondent is a Dutch journalism platform that focuses on background, analysis, investigative reporting, and the kinds of stories that tend to escape the radar of the mainstream media because they do not conform to what is normally understood to be news. We currently have 47,500 paying members.

We've started publishing select stories in English.

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Our promotional video in which our team of correspondents reflects on the first year. Please click the 'CC' icon to activate English subtitles.

A crowdfunding world record in journalism

The Correspondent is funded by members and ad-free. The platform is author-centered, rather than organized around traditional beats. We launched in September 2013 after setting a world record for crowdfunding in journalism, raising over a million euros from 15,000 donors in just eight days. In addition to offering high quality content, The Correspondent also aims to contribute, through experiment and experience, to journalism's transition to a 21st-century ecology of news.

The Correspondent was founded by Rob Wijnberg, former editor in chief of Dutch daily newspaper nrc.next, with backing from such renowned journalists as Joris Luyendijk of The Guardian, early praise from Alain de Botton and Jay Rosen, and in cooperation with cofounders Harald Dunnink and Sebastian Kersten of Momkai, a leading Amsterdam digital creative agency, and cofounder Ernst-Jan Pfauth, who serves as publisher.

The Correspondent currently has an editorial staff of 30, including 14 fulltime journalists, plus a network of 22 contributing correspondents, a subscriber base of 47,000 and counting, and a physical home in a former gallery in Amsterdam.

Read more about how we turned a world record in journalism crowdfunding into a thriving publication.

Our founding principles

At the heart of the successful crowdfunding campaign in March of 2013, lies a founding document - a manifesto of sorts - that outlines ten core principles around which The Correspondent is organized:

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 happily collaborate with other outlets if such collaboration seems fruitful and worthwhile.

Fully digital

The Correspondent is a digital medium available on computer, tablet and smartphone; in time, The Correspondent will also offer apps for Android, iOS and other operating systems. Sharing articles with non-members will be possible to a limited extent. 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.

Our CMS and editor

At The Correspondent we use our own editor, Respondens, a new kind of CMS allowing 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 organizations in 2018. 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.

Contact Project Manager René Clerc at rene@decorrespondent.nl to find out more.

Contact

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