Co-founding a platform that redefines the concept of news
With total conviction and skin in the game, we created a digital platform for our news organisation, De Correspondent, that rebels against convention while giving in-depth journalism the devoted forum it deserves. We continuously improve the site with the aim of setting a new industry benchmark.
De Correspondent is a member-funded, ad-free online news outlet that focuses on stories that escape the radar of mainstream media. Providing an antidote to the daily news grind, our correspondents don’t chase breaking stories but instead work to uncover the structural developments that shape our world.
Momkai has been involved in De Correspondent from its spectacular start. We still hold the world record for the number of members recruited in a single journalism crowdfunding campaign.
A new approach to news
We believe continuous innovation is of the utmost importance in journalism, and we never stop building De Correspondent's brand and platform in our determination to provide a worthy stage for stories that deserve to be read. The Guardian wrote: “De Correspondent's way of approaching the news business is almost the purest expression of a humane kind of journalism.”
The story comes first
Out of a firm belief that there is a need for in-depth reporting online, we built a platform that truly puts the focus on the content. The story is the only distraction. Impactful visuals amplify the message; intelligent writing offers readers context for understanding the world that stays relevant over time.
We eliminated early exits by redefining hyperlinks, replacing them with info cards and sidenotes. Info cards give the reader pulldown context if needed; informative sidenotes offer the option of diving deeper into contextual material or reading on. These two innovations remove disruption and cultivate calm.
Collaboration with members is an integral part of De Correspondent’s approach. Our correspondents act as conversation leaders, sharing ideas with readers before they start and inviting them to weigh in with their expertise. A hundred physicians know more than one health care writer, after all.
Going against the current trend, we encourage comments on every article. This works well for us – some impressive stories have grown out of members’ input. To further cultivate their collaboration, we allow staff to highlight useful reader comments and readers to register their areas of expertise. The result is a strong community of members and reporters.
Creating for context
True to Momkai’s nature, visuals aren’t an afterthought on De Correspondent. To create the fullest possible experience, we design impactful introductions to major topics, commission bespoke illustrations for stories, and create infographics in-house to clarify complex subjects.
Being digital means De Correspondent can go far beyond written reports. As we employ other forms of storytelling, we go out of our way to do justice to their particular qualities and requirements. We also acknowledge journalism’s subjectiveness by giving every correspondent a face across the platform in the form of a hand-drawn portrait.
Partnering with New York University
With professor Jay Rosen and research director Emily Goligoski, we‘re working to bring our collaborative journalism model to the US with the forthcoming site The Correspondent. Find out more on the Membership Puzzle Project, our joint research site with New York University’s Studio 20.