Crowdfunding news: a media experiment takes shape

A digital media experiment is underway in the Netherlands. Will the masses pay for an ads-free digital news site that focuses on long-form journalism?
Written by Kirsten Korosec, Contributor on

Dutch journalist Rob Wijnberg made an appeal last month to the masses: invest in a digital news site--that doesn't yet exist--that will provide a platform for long-form journalism and in-depth content detached from the typical breaking news cycle. The minimum buy in is 60 euros, or about $78 per year.

The reaction to the crowdfunding proposal has been overwhelming. Wijnberg's crowdfunding campaign raised $1.3 million with more than 15,000 members in just eight days to launch the digital news site called De Correspondent, reported VentureBeat. As of today, with just nine days remaining until the crowdfunding campaign ends, 17,605 people have invested in and become members of the project.

The site has attracted a number of journalists, columnists and writers as well, including Arnon Grunberg, who has received the AKO Literature Prize, columnist Henk Hofland, documentary filmmaker Jos de Putter and The Next Web co-founder Ernst-Jan Pfauth.

The site, created by Wijnberg and Momkai founder Harald Dunnink (pictured above), is slated to launch in September, according to De Correspondent's blog. The platform they're creating will be entirely advertisement free and focus on "slow journalism and background stories," the founders wrote in a blog post.

The creators are developing a digital news site that takes a different approach to practices currently implemented by big media. The site will be updated daily, but will have content focused on more than just the issues of the day, according to the De Correspondent's manifesto. The news site will not espouse a political ideology, just journalistic ideals, won't have advertisers, but will have partners and will not go after a targeted group or demographic.

Photo: De Correspondent

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

Editorial standards