UPDATE (12/13/18): The Correspondent has reached their goal and will be launching in mid-2019. Find out more here.

You know the news landscape is bleak when a photo of a very large cow is considered one of the most positive news stories of 2018.

It’s not just the content of the news that’s negative, but the context of how the news is delivered, treated, and discussed. Media and technology companies have monetized it, creating platforms that reward salacious headlines with lots of visibility. Politicians have weaponized it, accusing journalists of “being the enemy of the people” (a dangerous lie). And it seems just about everyone complains that the news is alarmist (the caravan is coming!), not alarmist enough (climate change is undercovered!), too objective, or not objective enough. We all seem to agree on one thing: The news and the conversation around the news can improve.

For these reasons, we were excited in early 2018 when we were approached by a Dutch-based media company looking to launch in the US, UK, and the greater English-speaking world. The Correspondent, they explained, would be the “antidote to the news”: a journalism platform that covers overlooked stories, that focuses not on breaking news but on long-term events, and that would not just be transparent in their journalistic sourcing but also engage its readers in researching, discussing, and covering these stories. Check, check, and check.

But launching a media company is a tall order. And we learned their values would make it even taller. No advertising — this would be a membership-only website. No monetization of user data — they protect all of their readers’ data. And a cap on future profits — The Correspondent’s revenue would be re-invested in its journalism. We love those values, but it also meant they would launch with a shoestring budget in a crowded, noisy, and hyper-competitive space.

Two weeks into their campaign, we’re super proud as they already have more than sixteen thousand members and are more than 40% of the way towards the capital needed to launch the media platform —all through a social media driven crowd-funded campaign.

They’ve also built an impressive roster of founding members. Famous comedians? Check and check. Innovative media influencers? Check. Game of Thrones cast? Check. But more than that, they’re running a marketing campaign that is transparent, values-driven, and true to their mission.

That’s especially important to Blue State Digital, as we believe marketing campaigns too often appeal to the lowest-common-denominator. We partnered with The Correspondent and their design partner, Momkai, not just because of their journalistic mission, but because of how they’re pursuing that mission: We both believe that marketing should be informative, action-oriented and transparent; whether you’re engaging a consumer, advocate, or voter, you need to deliver relevant, inspiring, and engaging content.

But don’t take our word for what The Correspondent stands for or what type of campaign they’re running. Check it out for yourself. Please, join us in becoming a founding member.

Trying to transform your industry for the better? We’re in your corner. Let’s talk about it.