The Correspondent’s primary objective is to redefine the concept of news. We don’t simply parrot whatever grabs the most attention, we publish original work that provides the greatest insight. Our Correspondents cover the most important developments in their area of interest, rather than speculating about breaking news or the latest scare. Put another way, we don’t write about the weather, but about climate. We aim to uncover the underlying forces that shape our world.
News tends to be dominated by sound bites, stereotypes, and clichés. The Correspondent challenges this oversimplification of ideas and perceptions, placing less emphasis on what is trending and more on what is truly relevant; taking the time for investigative pieces and creating a space for alternative journalistic formats; ensuring transparency about our own journalistic choices and dilemmas; increasing attention to fact-checking; and regularly addressing the influence of other media in our own reporting. Our efforts to tackle clichés and stereotyping also extends to our choices of images and illustrations.
Although The Correspondent is a for-profit enterprise, we do not strive to maximize profits for shareholders. We have stipulated a profit ceiling in our founding document: Any profit distribution may not be greater than 5% of revenues. So at least 95% of revenue is reinvested in journalism. This keeps The Correspondent from becoming hostage to short-term profit motives. Returns are dedicated to journalism – not the other way around.
The Correspondent expects its correspondents to be engaged in the world they’re reporting on. That means we reject conventional journalism’s ideal of objectivity and have sworn off the classic reporting model of A says this, and B says that. Correspondents are fair and independent, yet also explicitly subjective: They evaluate, to the best of their ability, which side of a story is most credible – and they exercise transparency regarding their judgments. Correspondents are expected to be evidence-based and fair-minded. But they view the world from their own personal perspective and through the window of their own fascinations. As an organization, we have no overarching political ideology; as individuals, we do look at the world through a moral framework. So while The Correspondent does not have an opinion, each correspondent certainly does.
News tends to make people feel cynical and powerless: “So much is wrong with the world, and I can’t do a thing about it.” The Correspondent aims to counteract that effect with constructive journalism. This is a kind of journalism that not only brings problems and atrocities to our attention, but also proposes solutions – and ways to be part of those solutions. Constructive journalism is not the same as “good news.” It’s journalism that strives both to hold up a mirror to our society and to get society moving. We do not shy away from initiatives specifically meant to bring about societal change.
The Correspondent does not simply broadcast information; it’s a platform where members can actively contribute to the journalism. Correspondents don’t see journalism as a one-way street, but rather as a dialogue with members, particularly those with professional or personal expertise on a given topic. This ongoing dialogue leads to fresh insights into the key developments of our times. That’s why Correspondents share their ideas for stories and invite feedback, keep members apprised of their research with newsletters and notifications, and avail themselves of members’ expertise and experience to better their journalistic work.
The Correspondent is an ad-free platform. Period. This includes so-called sponsored content. Disseminating messages (commercial or otherwise) for a fee is simply not permitted. Our business model is selling quality journalism to members, not selling our members out to advertisers. The Correspondent is open to collaborating with non-interested partners and funds whose investments contribute directly to our journalistic goals. Any such partnerships are subject to at least one non-negotiable condition: full editorial independence.
The Correspondent would not exist without our members, and maintaining a sustainable relationship with them is our highest priority. The Correspondent does not try to lure new members with benefits that existing members don’t get. For the sake of editorial independence, members have no say over journalistic content, but they can offer suggestions about the course set by The Correspondent. We continually take stock of member preferences, and we regularly consult them when deciding on new priorities.
Many people experience a gap between their own lives and the world as portrayed by the news media. The Correspondent aims to close that gap. That’s why we strive to bring together correspondents and members in a newsroom culture that does justice to the tremendous variety of abilities, backgrounds, lifestyles, experiences, and worldviews found in society. The Correspondent actively seeks to hire a diverse staff, because true insight into the forces that shape our world only comes when we’re all included in the conversation.
The Correspondent is not created to reach a specific group of people who just happen to belong to a particular demographic (e.g. well-heeled readers between the ages of 25 and 40). In short, The Correspondent does not think of members as target groups. The Correspondent sees its members not as a unanimous, amorphous group, but as curious, engaged individuals who cannot be reduced to demographics.
The Correspondent is, in part, the result of frustration with the hype-driven and often superficial reporting that dominates so much commercial news coverage. But it was not born of rancor. We welcome collaboration with people or organizations who embrace our mission. The Correspondent does not see itself as a magic solution to all of journalism’s ills. We’re not out to replace the current media landscape; we intend to enrich it. And we’ll do so by approaching our founding principles as we do our journalism – guided by our convictions, but open to change and improvement.