The Correspondent, a new online media platform for unbreaking news, successfully reached its membership crowdfunding goal of $2.5 million in 29 days. The funding will enable The Correspondent to build a newsroom of full-time correspondents, editors, developers, designers, operations, and back-office staff in anticipation of the launch of the platform by mid-2019. Nearly 43,000 founding members from more than 130 countries were part of the initial crowdfunding investors.
Why it Matters:
The funding will allow The Correspondent to embark on its mission to change what news is about, how it’s made, and how it’s funded. The massive success of crowdfunding membership in such a venture also bodes well for the future of this type of journalism. The organization set a goal to raise $2.5 million in one month; just 23 days into that month, it broke the world record for number of backers in a journalism crowdfunding campaign, reaching 18,934 investors.
The Correspondent’s unique model allows members to collaborate with correspondents and editors throughout the reporting process — sharing knowledge, expertise, and personal experiences to shape the stories. The organization is also built on the belief that journalism should be affordable to everyone, operating on a “choose what you pay” model.
“We’re so happy to actually see it work,” said Rob Wijnberg, founding editor. “This way we are directly funded by our readers, yet still accessible to everybody. We’re a member-funded public good. It’s a win-win.”
New members can continue to join The Correspondent and choose their own membership fee, which will give them access to the platform for one full year after launch. The median membership fee selected so far has been $30.
The Bottom Line:
“We’re overwhelmed and humbled by the support we’ve received from our supporters all over the world,” Wijnberg said. “The fact that we hit our fundraising goal in such a short period of time shows how much people care about journalism, and how willing they are to pay for it. We can’t wait to start building a newsroom together and telling stories that will help us understand the world around us — and change it for the better.”