A new ad-free Dutch online newspaper focusing on alternative news has raised over one million euros through crowd-funding, exceeding its founders' expectations, they said on Wednesday.
"We have already collected more than a million euros ($1.2 million), more than what we thought would be necessary to launch" in September, Rob Wijnberg, future editor of De Correspondent, told AFP.
Boasting a number of leading Dutch journalists, the founders of De Correspondent put out in mid-March an appeal on the Internet asking for funding to create a "quality daily, focusing on investigations and alternative journalism," said Wijnberg, 31, a former editor of the progressive daily tabloid nrc.next.
Supporters of the project were asked to pay 60 euros for a one-year subscription to get the project off the ground.
The appeal that aimed to get 15,000 subscribers was expected to take at least one month, but after two weeks it already boasted 17,250 contributors.
"Never before and nowhere else in the world are there so many people willing to become members to help construct a new journalistic platform," De Correspondent said on its website.
Wijnberg said De Correspondent wants to avoid the pitfalls of traditional media "often afraid to miss what their competitors write about," that results in "progressively diminishing" differences in news coverage.
"The media often talk about the exceptions, calamities in society, for instance when a bank goes bankrupt," said Wijnberg. "We want to emphasise the structures present in society."
De Correspondent's competitors have criticised the project as elitist and out of touch with the everyday concerns of the Dutch people.
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