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Design by Luka van Diepen (De Correspondent)

We’ve been hard at work laying the foundations for The Correspondent. In this update, sent first to our members, managing editor, Eliza Anyangwe, and I, outline exactly how we intend to utilise their financial support

In three short months, on September 30, we will be launching The Correspondent! A movement for unbreaking the news through thoughtful, collaborative, constructive, transnational journalism (it’s good to get all the jargon out of the way!), made possible by the support of our members in over 130 countries.

As CEO and managing editor, (with me overseeing finances and Eliza managing a large chunk of the budget) we are writing to you jointly because many of you have asked to know just how we are spending your contributions, from the end of our crowdfunding campaign to launch, and then through our first year in operation. …

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Photo by Martijn van Dam / Momkai

At the end of last year, 45,888 people from over 130 countries contributed $2.6 million to launch The Correspondent, the global expansion of our Dutch journalism platform.

In this update, I’ll share how we’re preparing for our launch on September 30 this year. Here’s what to expect in this short read:

  • A note on one of our most important hires: the Membership Director
  • Why our HQ will remain in Amsterdam
  • Our plan to have correspondents all over the world

Since our crowdfunding campaign ended, 3,200 additional members have joined The Correspondent. …

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The NYC campaign team in front of our Founding Members’ wall. From left to right: CEO Ernst Pfauth, campaign strategist Baratunde Thurston, operations manager Zainab Shah, founding editor Rob Wijnberg and engagement editor Jessica Best. Campaign photo by Momkai’s Martijn van Dam and Harald Dunnink

We will start publishing by mid-2019

Update (December 15, 2018): Our campaign has ended. In thirty days, 45,888 founding members from more than 130 countries contributed $2.6 million. Thank you all so much!

Dear founding members,

From the bottom of our hearts: thank you. In fact, thank you 42,780 times over, for your overwhelming support!

After an incredibly exciting month — with endless hours spent refreshing the counter, appearances on The Daily Show and CNN, and countless social posts by you all about our movement — you’ve helped us take The Correspondent from dream to reality.

We reached our goal of $2.5 million exactly 34 hours before the deadline. The median pledge was $30. This really is a grassroots movement for unbreaking news. …

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Last Wednesday, we launched The Correspondent, a movement for unbreaking news.

We want to offer readers an antidote to breaking news and raise $2.5 million with them by December 14.

If we are successful, we will start publishing in Spring 2019. If not, we will refund the money.

We’re now five days in and thrilled to share that more than 11,378 founding members from 87 countries have already joined:

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Design: Leon Postma and Harald Dunnink (Momkai)

Lessons in transparency from a $4.5M ad-free news platform

As reader revenue becomes increasingly central to media business models, we’re continuing our five-year tradition of sharing what we’ve learned about running a reader-funded news organization.

In 2013, we launched De Correspondent in The Netherlands with the help of some 19,000 founding members who backed our world-record breaking crowdfunding campaign. Since then, we’ve grown to an online journalism platform with more than 60,000 paying members. In 2019, we want to expand our publication to the English language with the launch of The Correspondent.

Just as in the Netherlands, financial transparency will be a key feature of The Correspondent. …

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De Correspondent, a Dutch journalism platform based in Amsterdam, is a world leader in membership for journalism. After five years in the Netherlands, we are now committed to bringing our journalism to a global audience by launching The Correspondent for English-language readers in the US and beyond.

Last time I updated you on these efforts, I shared that we’d raised $1.8 million in runway funding to build our membership campaign.

We’ve put that investment to good use with our first hire in the US.

Zainab Shah, former Global Operations Lead at BuzzFeed, is joining The Correspondent as our Operations Lead.

Meet our Operations Lead Zainab Shah

Zainab will ensure The Correspondent operates smoothly in the run-up to our global membership campaign — a challenge she’s perfectly suited for. …

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Illustration by Leon Postma

One year ago, we shared our big plans for a global edition of De Correspondent. Today we’re proud to announce two key partnerships for making The Correspondent in English a reality.

Omidyar Network is granting The Correspondent $950,000 in runway funding, bringing our total funding to $1.8 million. And Blue State Digital — the agency behind both of Obama’s digital campaigns for president — will team up with our creative partner Momkai to build our global campaign.

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There’s a great untapped resource in journalism, and it’s available to journalists right now.

It’s the experience and expertise of your readers.

Your work is seen by doctors and patients, teachers and students, CEOs and janitors. Together, they know more than you on any number of issues.

And to get them to share that knowledge, you just have to ask.

In the print era it was difficult to reach out to readers. Not anymore.

In the digital age, readers can be sources — if you give them the chance to share what they know.

At our Dutch journalism platform De Correspondent, we’ve learned that joining forces with our 60,000 paying members leads to richer, more grounded stories. As The New York Times recently…

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The money will allow us to hire an editor in chief

After my cofounder Rob Wijnberg and I arrived in New York last week, we have some more really exciting news to share with you: Craig Newmark Philanthropies has generously agreed to help build The Correspondent with $100,000 in funding.

This money will allow us to hire an editor in chief before we launch our journalism platform with a member campaign.

The contribution will be managed by Media Development Investment Fund, The Correspondent’s fiscal sponsor. We’re grateful for the trust these organizations have placed in us and for their support of our journalistic mission. We feel very welcome in the US!

Promoting trustworthy journalism

Craig Newmark Philanthropies’ mission is to promote trustworthy journalism and a free press — a mission we very much share — so we saw them as a perfect organization to turn to as we lay the groundwork for The Correspondent. …

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Shell knew all along.

A 1991 videotape obtained by our Energy and Climate Correspondent reveals that Shell had detailed knowledge of the dangers of climate change more than a quarter of a century ago. Confidential Shell documents date back even further.

How did we get those documents?

A reader shared them with us.

At our Dutch journalism platform De Correspondent, we’ve learned that joining forces with readers leads to richer, more grounded stories. Better yet: It leads to scoops that we would never have found on our own.

Our latest investigative piece — published together with The Guardian — is a great example of that. …


Ernst Pfauth

Cofounder & CEO of The Correspondent. Working to bring our ad-free, reader-funded journalism to the world.

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