After raising over $2.5 million in a highly-publicized crowdfunding campaign last year, journalism startup The Correspondent announced it would headquarter it’s operations in Amsterdam. Most donors believed that the campaign’s goal was to open a U.S.-based operation. De Correspondent, it’s Netherlands-based parent organization, gained notoriety for it’s 10 founding principles that highlight, among other qualities, transparency and collaboration with it’s subscribers.
U.S. Donors Feel Betrayed
In reaction to the news, many felt De Correspondent had been at best unclear and at worst deceptive. Columbia Journalism Review discussed the situation and mentioned a tweet from Emily Bell, director of Columbia University’s Tow Center for Digital Journalism, where she pointed out the irony undermining De Correspondent’s mission of “restoring trust in news.”
A U.S. Bureau Was Never In The Plan
In an interview with Nieman Labs, De Correspondent’s Editor-In-Chief Rob Wijnberg responded to criticism by saying “it got interpreted by a lot of media who wrote about us as, ‘They’re launching in the U.S.’ Which is pretty much 80 percent true, in the sense that we are going to have Engligh-language correspondents in the U.S. – just not only in the U.S. And we never promised – or never said, because that’s not our model – to have, to cover the United States or anything.”