This is my favourite quote from The Correspondent, the ad-free movement for un-breaking the news. I reported on this a month ago when their crowdfunding campaign took off. Now that campaign is nearing the end date, I wanted to highlight this initiative again as it is an important anti-dote to the collaps of journalism that we see all over the world. Not just due to the continued Trump tweets on the “enemy of the people”,  or the clickbait reduction of news items, but also because free press is being squeezed around the world. You cannot overestimate the importance of free press. Even in a democracy, this can be the last defense barrier to control those in power. We need a different business model to get quality journalism that dives deeper then the headlines of today.

To date, over 17,000 founding members from more then 100 countries have raised 1.1 M US$ but this is only half their target of 2.2 M US$. If the target is not met, all backers will be refunded completely, so your risk is zero: either you get your money back, or you get a full year subscription to The Correspondent, irrespective of the amount you funded. This is quite a daring business model; the price of membership is what you choose to pay!   This quote is from their site:

The pricing model is based on trust, inclusivity, and solidarity.

  • We trust you to choose a fair price that’s appropriate to your financial situation.
  • We feel journalism should be inclusive — it should be affordable for everybody.
  • We believe in the power of solidarity: those who can afford a little more can help keep our journalism accessible to those on a tighter budget.


Open their website, read the 10 founding principles, check out the ambassadors or read their entries on Medium and when you’re convinced this initiative needs your support, become a founding member. Or give a membership and put the voucher under the Christmas tree. You will not regret it, and on the off chance that you do, you can simply cancel your subscription after the first year. No strings attached, no spamming, no trackers, because it is completely ad-free.

The next image shows the number of trackers on several news websites, one of the more visual advantages of an ad-free medium, paid for by members only.


The Correspondent
Medium / The Correspondent
My earlier post on The Correspondent
Freedom of the Press (image source)
Founding Principles The Correspondent
Ambassadors for The Correspondent

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  1. CompilationChannel

    I agree! It’s very important to have a free press. It needs to survive. Internet and alternative media is our hope. Even if free press is surpressed we can somehow manage to get at least some free press information. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Ilia

    Freedom of speech is an important aspect. Authors, correspondents and all who participate in this project do a great job. Thanks you for telling us about the project, I will definitely follow the development and activities of the community. Thanks for the article @peter S

    1. peter S Post author

      You’re welcome @Ilia. The crowd funding is in the last stretch, just 42 h and 80,000 $ to go. I think they will reach their target and it is actually going to happen. I was founding member since the inception in NL 4 years ago and haven’t missed a single day reading at least one of their articles.

  3. Workin2005

    Interesting…will look into this further. I give them credit for trying a different model. Not sure it’s sustainable, but I certainly hope it is. Thanks Peter.

    1. peter S Post author

      well, putting an END to it is a big milestone, but it’s about time the business model of “free services” is turned around or changed to a better way. BAT is a good direction

  4. Zeus69

    Great post peter thank you, interesting, I live in South Africa, and we have had our fair share of journalism issues, IE where government tries to shut them up but doesn’t seem to help, where do you get the free, not free, etc stats from by the way?
    Mark (Zeus69)

      1. Zeus69

        Thanks, I didnt even look at the link just read the article, sorry, will check it out.
        Mark (Zeus69)

      2. Zeus69

        Thanks Peter, the reason I ask is because I work in the GIS environment and we deal with stats (stats not my profession) on a daily basis, and we spatially map for various clients, so i was merely interested on the source of this. thank you



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