Tonight I was interviewed on stage in Ghent as part of a series of evenings called GentM, in which host Fredo De Smet explores the influence of the digital revolution on our daily lives. We talked about how, at De Correspondent, we see our journalists as conversation leaders and the importance of working together with the new storytellers: developers and designers.
One question kept being asked: can something like De Correspondent also exist in Belgium, which has a much smaller market (6 million people speak Dutch here, whereas Holland has a population of 16 million).
My honest answer: I have no idea.
It reminded me of last week, when at the International Journalism Festival in Perugia several journalism students asked me how they could make money with their craft.
I had no idea how to answer that question too.
The thing is, we’re living in an age when we have to figure it all out again. Journalism is changing rapidly and we have no idea where it is heading.
The only thing I could say as an answer is: go figure it out. Go write/ film/ record the stories you want to tell and find the best possible way to present it (as in: the method that fits your way of working best). Involve your audience, ask for their input, take them seriously. And then, when you’ve created something that people really value, figure out how to monetize on the relationship with your audience (this could be crowdfunding, speaking gigs, workshops, bundles: you name it).
We live in an age when we have to figure it all out ourselves, since nothing like it has been done before, and there isn’t just one market anymore. There are thousands.
Ps. Here’s a Foursquare list I’ve made for Ghent. I visit often, since my sister lives here.