Netherlands-based news startup De Correspondent has raised more than $1 million through crowdfunding for a U.S. version of its reader-driven news model. It is to be noted that the U.S. version is launching with a focus on inclusion and diversity. It is part of the “10 founding principles”.
Started by Wijnberg in September 2013 with a similar fundraising campaign, the startup has more than 60,000 members. Also, its team of journalists spends around 40 per cent of their time talking to readers about what they should cover.
Breaking the stereotypes
De Correspondent aims at breaking the mundane representation of the modern news economy. Rejecting the idea of advertising, the startup is focused on achieving its editorial vision of covering important issues rather than breaking news. With intentions to “unbreak” the news, the company has been addressed as an “antidote” by the founders.
The new-age readers
De Correspondent calls its readers, “members” rather than subscribers. It is because readers are expected to work along with the company’s journalists to provide insight, expertise and perspective on what to cover and how to cover. Notably, the creation of a new-age reader-journalist community is one of the key highlights of this media organisation.
De Correspondent is reportedly set for a $2.5 million crowdfunding goal without a backup plan. Also, the members will get their money back if the full amount is not raised. Further, the readers in the U.S. may contribute an amount they like in order to become a member. More than 16,000 people have already paid to be founding members. Moreover, a group of influential, unpaid “ambassadors”, such as activist DeRay Mckesson; Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales; tech journalist Om Malik; investor and entrepreneur Esther Dyson; Hollywood producer Judd Apatow and many others, have been putting out calls for support.
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