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News outlets will need public support to battle governments set on chilling investigative journalism
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May 15, 2018, 11:02 a.m.
Business Models
LINK: medium.com  ➚   |   Posted by: Shan Wang   |   May 15, 2018

Dutch darling De Correspondent got its start in the Netherlands in 2013 as a wildly successful crowdfunded news site promising ad-free, in-depth journalism and close reader participation in the reporting process.

It’s now a few steps closer to launching its English-language global counterpart here in the U.S. On Monday, the organization announced that it’s received $950,000 in funding from the Omidyar Network. De Correspondent now has $1.8 million total behind its global expansion (New York University professor Jay Rosen is working with it on these efforts, and studying member-funded journalism best practices through the Membership Puzzle Project).

Blue State Digital (which ran digital strategy for Barack Obama’s 2008 and 2012 campaigns) and Dutch design studio Momkai (a founding partner of De Correspondent) will help spread the word about its global edition The Correspondent, cofounder and CEO of De Correspondent Ernst-Jan Pfauth wrote in a post announcing the new funding. Not to worry, though, the forthcoming The Correspondent will still be almost entirely member-funded, Pfauth added, though apparently the organization still needs a bit more funding “to launch an effective global campaign” to find those future reader-members.

The U.S.-based newsroom will launch with between five and 10 reporters, Pfauth told Columbia Journalism Review. The Dutch newsroom now has about 20 reporters and is “close to being profitable.”

The organization gets cited often for its approaches to gaining the trust of its audience and to making members feel valuable, such as referring to its readers as “expert contributors,” not allowing search engines to index any reader comments (“contributions,” it calls them), and bringing on a dedicated “conversations editor” to facilitate more knowledge-sharing between De Correspondent journalists and its members.

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