The Correspondent to close by year-end
Dutch publisher De Correspondent’s English language publication, The Correspondent, will not see in 2021. According to NiemanLab, the last day of publication will be 31 December 2020. While there’s zero schadenfreude on my behalf — I really wanted it to succeed, and I am a subscriber — the warning signs have been there for a while. Last year August I wrote in Naked Data: “I desperately want The Correspondent to succeed, but I’m getting worried…”
The issue, in my humble opinion, is that it spent most of its money on a crowdsourcing campaign, then used that crowdsourcing campaign to pay for more of a crowdsourcing campaign. At some point this starts to look more like a pyramid scheme than a news publication. As a result, it never opened its US offices like it promised, its content was lackluster, and as a reader I received very little value from it.
It’s a sad result from a project with great initial drive and energy, but you can see other publishers already learning lessons from the failure.