De Correspondent, Dutch media group, admits to failure and miscommunication after deciding to keep all operations in Amsterdam. It accumulated $4.3m through crowdfunding, runway funding, loans and donations to launch its international platform with New York City headquarters. De Correspondent received a significant amount of dissatisfaction from its supporters when it announced its plans to stay in Amsterdam. This resulted in an apology document from De Correspondent stating that ‘we screwed up’ on April 30th, according to a Dutch News article.
The campaign to raise money for the English-language site gained 46% of its new members from the US, as stated in a NiemanLab article. In total De Correspondent has over 60,000 paying members, which support them financially as they do not run ads on their website.
De Correspondent is a company that prides itself on transparency so it comes as a shock that they were so vague. This has resulted in some of its supporters thinking it was just a publicity stunt to gain more funding.
‘We failed to give adequate insight into what we meant by a global platform, leaving the impression we would be US focused,’ De Correspondent says.
Zainab Shah, who left her job at Buzzfeed as a global leader and operations manager, was the first US hire for The Correspondent. $100,000 of the money raised was meant to go towards hiring a US editor in chief but after many applications were submitted, no one was ever hired. In an interview with the NiemanLab, Shah stated “I think the reason they cancelled hiring a managing editor was because they’d already maybe started thinking they might not have a U.S. office.”
Much to their American audience’s disappointment, The Correspondent now only plans to have five to seven English reporters starting in September, mentioned by a Dutch News article.