Hatched in the small, but populated (17 million exact), country we all love is Blendle. This so-called ‘iTunes for journalism’ has just been launched in the US and its already grabbing the necessary headlines. And it’s not the only innovative journalism initiative sprung in the Netherlands (which is a good thing because I always write these things up in three’s). So what else has the Netherlands to contribute to the new golden age of journalism?
Blendle is the first and beloved child of the Dutch media and establishment when it comes to startups and new kids on the journalistic block. Two reasons for that:
1. Co-founder of Blendle is the renowned wizzkid and posterchild Alexander Klöpping. His presence allowed Blendle to get a headstart with all the media-attention. There’s most likely a little sour taste in the mouth of Marten Blankensteijn who originally came up with the idea (we still love you Alexander!).
2. It’s ‘supersympathiek‘ in that it always make sure you can get your few cents back after reading an article that you didn’t like after all. So if you fall for some clickbait or the article turns out to be too short you can instantly get your money back, nice huh? And with this refund possibility also comes the thought that journalists might up their game and deliver better quality (instead of clickbait or copied content)
More and more established journalistic outlets are teaming up with Blendle to bring you that specific article that you like. Blendle works with an innovative newsletter-system, advanced algorithms that seek out what you like and copies the look and feel of the magazine or newspaper that you’re reading so you can also fit it in your Sunday-morning-feeling if you have that with a certain paper or magazine. All of this adds to the momentum of Blendle while they keep on conquering the digital media world.
Each week I’m losing myself more and more into the Dutch version of Blendle, so I can definitely recommend that. Blendle has just launched late March in the US. Anybody using it? Would love to hear some experiences!
Where Blendle aims to bring you qualitive journalism, The Correspondent focuses on creating high-quality journalism. It’s a journalism platform which is primarily funded by paying members (over 40K so far), allowing their journalists to write background stories, analysis and longreads of stuff which isn’t necessarily hot and trending (as advertisement-based media is more or less compelled to do).
So it’s ad-free, which is quite unique and has some pretty prominent journalists writing for them (like Femke Halsema). The Correspondent was founded in 2013 after a very successful crowdfunding effort and has also enjoyed it fair share of the spotlight in ‘De Wereld Draait Door’ just like Blendle has (unfair advertising by public television anyone?). Main man behind the platform is Rob Wijnberg, you might have read one of his recent pieces when his article on the Brussels terror-attacks went viral. And good news! This one you can read for free.
Contrary to Blendle or The Correspondent there’s a good chance that you have never heard of the up-and-coming Yournalism, it also being the youngest platform of all (founded September 2014). Just like the two previous entries Yournalism also aims to bring more quality journalism into the world. Whereas The Correspondent was founded after a successful crowdfunding mission, Yournalism aims to crowdfund articles individually.
Say what now?
It works like this. Whenever you’re wondering why an idea hasn’t been picked up by the media you can send that idea to Yournalism. The platform will in turn decide if it’s a viable idea and will make for a decent investigative journalistic article. Once the idea makes it into a proposal, a journalist gets on it and its time to seek funding to do the actual researching and writing. Yournalism also makes it possible for people to aid the investigation, and the journalist keeps the investors of the article up to date on the progress just like indiegogo or another crowdfunding platform. Charming idea right? Here’s their intro movie (in Dutch, but English labels all around):
So that’s it! Did I miss any journalistic innovations in the Netherlands? I would love to hear so! Drop a comment or look me up on Twitter (@AbuzerVL)
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