30,000 paying members: landmark for Dutch online journalism platform De Correspondent
03 MARCH 2014, AMSTERDAM
SummaryDe Correspondent is a Dutch-language, online journalism platform that offers background, analysis, investigative reporting, and the kinds of stories that tend to escape the radar of mainstream media because they do not conform to what is normally understood to be ‘news.’ It launched on September 30th last year, after raising a total of 1.7 million dollars with a world record crowd-funding campaign, and welcomed its 30,000th member today.
De Correspondent is a Dutch-language, online journalism platform that offers background, analysis, investigative reporting, and the kinds of stories that tend to escape the radar of mainstream media because they do not conform to what is normally understood to be ‘news.’ It launched on September 30th last year, after raising a total of 1.7 million dollars with a world record crowd-funding campaign, and welcomed its 30,000th member today.
On March 18, 2013, founder and editor-in-chief Rob Wijnberg announced on live television that he would need 15,000 members in order to launch De Correspondent. Prospective members could obtain a one-year membership for 60 euros. ‘We never imagined that this number would double within a year’s time,’ Wijnberg says. ‘Thanks to these 30.000 pioneers, we are now able to practice add-free, independent journalism.’
The crowdfunding campaign finished on April 18, 2013, welcoming a total of 19,000 members. On September 30, 2013, De Correspondent went live. At that moment, the number had already risen to 20,000. As of today, another 10,000 members have signed up.
Search for new correspondents
Thanks to this growth in membership, De Correspondent can start its search for new full-time correspondents. ‘We just signed on author Nina Polak as our Culture correspondent,’ Wijnberg says. ‘Food and Healthcare correspondents remain on the top of our wishlist.’
30,000 members know more than one journalist
As a result of the close collaboration between the journalists and the designers and programmers at creative agency and shareholder Momkai, the website decorrespondent.nl is improving all the time. In the coming months new features will be launched, that will enable members to share their expertise. Wijnberg: ‘We believe every member to be an expert in something. 30,000 members know more than 30 correspondents, so we do our very best to facilitate them in sharing their knowledge and expertise.’
The pressure is still on
Publisher Ernst-Jan Pfauth: ‘We are incredibly happy that around 2,000 new members are joining our cause every month. However, we are still nowhere near our final goal. For example, we do not yet know how many members will renew their one-year membership in September. Until then, the pressure remains on. The more members sign up, the more we can improve our website and the more we can invest in investigative reporting.’
Members read our articles 1.8 million times
Pfauth: ‘We are pleased that our members are such active contributors. Since the launch on 30 September 2013, our members wrote 29,000 contributions to our articles. Moreover, they shared an article with friends 103,000 times and in total, they read our articles 1.8 million times.’
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