Dutch news website De Correspondent has released a short guide to crowdfunding journalism.
In 2013, the founders of the website raised $1.7 million (about £1.1m) from nearly 20,000 backers in eight days.
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The website describes itself as a “daily antidote to the hypes of the day” and focuses on constructive and in-depth reporting rather than breaking news.
De Correspondent now has over 33,000 members subscribing for 60 euros a year, and it is planning international expansion later this year.
The guide, written by co-founder and publisher Ernst-Jan Pfauth, contains advice for journalists thinking about crowdfunding their own projects such as “don’t ask what the crowd can do for you, ask what you can do for the crowd”.
Pfauth writes: “We chose not to talk about our problems, but rather about how we could solve readers’ problems.
“Because to be honest: hardly anyone knows what you mean by ‘good journalism’. And most people also don’t really care you need ‘more time’ to write these stories. They care about the story itself. People are much more interested in hearing how you can help them.”
De Correspondent has shunned advertisers and investment firms, but now have 24 full-time staff.
Pfauth writes that this meant he and other staff didn’t have to “turn our readers into a ‘target group’”.
“Readers realised we were completely dependent on their support. They also realised that we only had to answer to their needs, instead of those of advertisers.”
The guide also contains advice on managing backers’ expectations and choosing the right rewards for donations.
Although the main site is in Dutch, De Correspondent translates a selection of its articles into English.