We have some very sad news to share. As of January 1st 2021, The Correspondent will discontinue publishing its journalism. As a paying member, you will automatically receive a full refund for the remainder of your membership in the first weeks of the new year. All published articles will remain available online, but there will be no new articles from the new year.
We are incredibly grateful for your support.
Here we will explain what led to this decision, and detail how we intend to close The Correspondent in a responsible way.
The decision to discontinue The Correspondent was made due to financial setbacks, making our English language newsroom financially unsustainable. In the past three months we’ve seen a marked increase in membership cancellations, with members often citing increased insecurity in their personal financial situation. The average membership fee paid also lagged behind budgetary needs.
Unfortunately, we were unable to demonstrate the value of The Correspondent’s journalism to a significant enough number of members. With the Covid-19 pandemic dominating headlines non-stop for much of the year, it proved very difficult to offer “unbreaking news” to members in over 140 countries. People want to know from their media source: “Is my kid’s school going to be closed tomorrow and when will I be eligible for a vaccination?” While essential, this is not the kind of journalism we were set up to do. We were focused instead on transnational issues.
We tried, we gave it our all but we didn’t succeed.
We are very sad to say goodbye to the amazing colleagues who make up The Correspondent, and who have done an absolutely amazing job in a year of global unrest. They were a bright shining light in times of increasingly dark headlines, and we are incredibly proud of the journalism they produced, in collaboration with members. We can’t recommend them highly enough to future employers.
The Correspondent’s staff will be offered a severance package and transition fee in accordance with Dutch labour law. Freelance staff will be paid in full for the work that is still to be published between now and the end of the year. The Dutch union for journalists has been informed about the closure of the newsroom. Several Dutch staff members who worked for The Correspondent part-time will continue working for De Correspondent as of January 1st. Our Dutch journalism platform, De Correspondent, is a different and financially healthy entity that will continue its operations.
We want to thank you, all our members, from the bottom of our hearts for supporting us. You have made a dream come true by becoming a member of our ad-free journalism platform and we hope you will continue to support independent media in the future. For inspiration, you can visit the Membership Puzzle Project, a New York University initiative that keeps track of membership-based journalism platforms all around the world.
If you have any questions regarding your membership or related topics, please see the FAQs below. If your question is not answered there, do not hesitate to reach out to us in the comment section, or via email@example.com.
We are now completely focused on winding down The Correspondent in a responsible way. It’s too early for us to properly reflect, but we will do so in the near future and share our lessons learned.
Thank you for being part of this amazing community,
Rob Wijnberg & Ernst-Jan Pfauth
co-founders of The Correspondent
[Early supporter. Stellar correspondents and reporting. Long-form journalism is tough in a world of sensational news and clickbaits. Thank you for trying. Well done. -dayle]