De Correspondent launches official website
20.200 members, and counting
30 SEPTEMBER 2013, AMSTERDAM
SummaryOn September 30th, the official website of De Correspondent will go live. Femke Halsema, Arnon Grunberg and David Van Reybrouck, among others, are contributors to the site, which was founded by Rob Wijnberg and developed by design agency Momkai. A crowdfunding campaign resulted in a world record in journalism: within eight days, 15.000 members made a pledge. They now number more than 20.200. De Correspondent allows members to follow their favorite correpondents and to contribute to stories.
On Monday, September 30th, De Correspondent’s official website (www.decorrespondent.nl) went live. De Correspondent, a Dutch-language, online journalism platform that offers background, analysis, and investigative reporting, was founded by Rob Wijnberg (1982), a philosopher and former Editor-in-chief at nrc.next, a nationally distributed daily newspaper in the Netherlands.
On March 18, 2013, Wijnberg, together with prominent Dutch journalists and authors like Jelle Brandt Cortsius, Femke Halsema, and Arnon Grunberg, started a crowdfunding campaign in order to get 15.000 members to sign up and make a pledge within thirty days. That goal was reached within the first eight days of the campaign; it marked the first time for a journalism initiative anywhere in the world to raise an amount like this through crowdfunding. On September 30th, the day of De Correspondent's official launch, the membership base exceeds 20.200.
Rob Wijnberg is Editor-in-chief of De Correspondent; Ernst-Jan Pfauth (1986), former Editor-of-chief of Internet at NRC Media, is its publisher. Chief designer Harald Dunnink (1981) has developed decorrespondent.nl with his internationally renowned design agency Momkai, which is a co-founder of De Correspondent. De Correspondent hopes to invent new forms of journalism through its close collaboration between designers, programmers and journalists.
The site is subject to continuous improvement and is therefore never finished. The current version allows members to respond and contribute to articles, to set up their own profiles, to save articles and to share them through social media and email, and to choose which correspondents to 'follow.'
For members, De Correspondent's landing page consists of two parts. A selection of five stories is published at 6.30 a.m. each day; this selection is visible to all members, regardless of their interest in specific topics or correspondents. In addition, members are presented with a personalised feed that consists of updates and new stories by those correspondents they have decided to follow. Each correspondent has a personal page on which he or she posts stories, requests, updates and recommendations, and on which conversations with members can take place.
In July, De Correspondent announced its editorial staff, which consists of contributing editors Lynn Berger (Technology, Culture & Clichés), Rutger Bregman (Progress), Maurits Martijn (Technology & Surveillance), Vera Mulder (Society, Behavior & Groups), Dimitri Tokmetzis (Data & Transparency), Tomas Vanheste (Europe Between Power and Vision) and Maite Vermeulen (Conflict & Development), and Editor-in-chief Rob Wijnberg, publisher Ernst-Jan Pfauth, image editor Sterre Sprengers, video editor Jos de Putter, copy editor Andreas Jonkers, and editorial assistant Milou Klein Lankhorst.
Together with a team of freelance correspondents, the editorial staff contributes a daily batch of fresh articles to the site. Associated freelance editors are Hassan Bahara (The Netherlands Today), Jelle Brandt Corstius (The New Netherlands), Joris van Casteren (Extraordinary & Extraterrestrial Life), Ewald Engelen (The Financial Sector & Shadow Elites), Arnon Grunberg (The Hotel Man), Femke Halsema (Politics, Crime & Popular Culture), Nina Polak (Television, Games, Movies & Literature), David Van Reybrouck (Democracy, Cartography & Conflictanalysis), Monique Samuel (Arabic Revolutions & The Middle East), Karel Smouter (Migration & Asylum), Johannes Visser (Education), Daan Windhorst (Satire) and Dick Wittenberg (Inequality, Globalisation & Poverty). The number of correspondents will continue to increase as time progresses.
Note for editors
For more information and/or interview requests with Editor-in-chief Rob Wijnberg, publisher Ernst-Jan Pfauth or any other correspondent, please contact Milou Klein Lankhorst at firstname.lastname@example.org or +31 6 42146898. Also please visit www.decorrespondent.nl.
"The world of news is crying out for intelligent re-invention and The Correspondent promises a raft of innovations in this direction." Alain de Botton
"That's it. I'm declaring De Correspondent the most interesting journalism start-up I have read about in 2013." Jay Rosen