I wish to introduce you to The Correspondent. This new publication was founded in September 2019. It offers a unique contemporary approach to journalism. The reader is introduced to a brave and bold approach to playing their own part in the process of news consumption. The exchange of ideas between journalist and reader is encouraged. An attempt to counter the present devastating trend towards “false news” is articulated in the rationale for this new publication. The deterioration in the quality of reportage has escalated during the past three years, during Trump’s presidency. The Correspondent hopes to create a balance to this unhappy trend with its unique approach of fostering an interaction between writer and reader.
The Relationship of this Contemporary Initiative with my Passions
One of the criteria I like to emphasise in my advocacy of Conscious Ageing is the ability to explore new and novel ideas whilst understanding you may suffer the consequences. I heard a lovely quote from Mark Zuckerberg yesterday, “The biggest risk is not taking any risk.” The Correspondent is, however, taking plenty of risks. And I trust this confidence will be rewarded by the longevity of the publication
Below is a listing of the deals of this new venture:
- The Correspondent is not interested in the latest hype or scare, but rather the forces which shape the world. They do not cover the weather but are interested in the underlying climate.
- It is an ad-free platform. It will only collaborate with other organizations on condition it has full editorial independence.
- The Correspondent will fight harmful simplifications and keep away from breaking news that is designed to shock
- They practice Constructive Journalism which means they write stories which can influence events in a positive way. They are interested in activism, making a positive contribution to future lifestyles.
- They are happy to collaborate with their readers. The readers are not mere consumers, but can act as knowledgeable contributors as well
- They do not pretend to be ‘neutral’ or unbiased. The Correspondent is open about where it is coming from. Facts are important. Interpretation is equally important.
- The Correspondent aims to serve the reader rather than the shareholders. They wish to maximise trust over financial gain.
- They understand that as journalists they may not have all the answers. They are happy to interact with their readers and recognise when their ideas do not hold up in the face of new evidence.
The headquarters are in Amsterdam
However, The Correspondent has appointed editors from all over the world. These are some of the categories:
- Climate Challenges,
- Everyday Colonialism,
- The 1000 Days (the earliest days in our life),
- Numeracy including Artificial intelligence,
- Othering (about diversity, exclusion, social inequality and active empathy), and
- Better Politics (What policies work? A practical approach)
I perceive a strong bias towards the social sciences in this choice of specialities. I continue to be fascinated by the role that sociology, psychology and anthropology play in helping us to understand the politics of today. For this reason I am looking forward to watching the progress of this new vehicle for the dissemination of contemporary thought.
Adapting my Plans
And now I am feeling shocked. I read a brilliant article last night by the Climate Editor of The Correspondent, Eric Holthaus. He described a visit he enjoyed in his American home from Greta Thunberg and her father Svelte.
At this moment the two Thunbergs are travelling in America where they have been invited to speak at various international conferences. I read an article about them late last night (10th October 2019) in The Correspondent. I was too tired to concentrate at that late hour, so decided I would come back to it this morning. Guess what? It has been taken down.
And here is the reason. ‘The Thunberg family did not see the piece pre-publication. After it was made public, they raised a number of concerns around sensitivities within the piece.” Holthaus understands their concerns. Based on that understanding he and the team at The Correspondent decided that the right thing to do was to remove the article from the internet.
I was so excited when I first read this revealing story about Greta and her father. It offers a very personal perspective of this young 16 year old Climate Activist. She is at this moment a favoured contender for the award of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. In his story Holthaus included the informal WhatsApp postings between himself and Greta when they were negotiating her stay at his home. As far as I recall, his two young sons are aged about 3 and 5. A beautiful picture of the two youngsters interacting with Greta and their soft animal toys, illustrated the story.
As I continue my tale, I am aware it may not be a fully accurate reflection of what I read as I am unable to check my facts. I will forge ahead anyway! I am a great fan of this young Swedish woman and am not prepared to abandon the story because my source material has disappeared into the ether.
The image remains with me of an unaffected but passionate young woman who has made sacrifices in order to promote the ideas she feels so strongly about. Greta and her father have been away from home for a couple of months already. They were offered a trip across the Atlantic in a yacht as air-flight is totally against Greta’s principles. The pollution produced by aeroplanes is far too extreme.
As I do not have Greta’s memory for articulating facts, I need to speak in generalisations. What I learned in the article was that an alternative fuel for aeroplanes is going to be very difficult to find. Batteries are too heavy, and other potential sources of energy have other practical difficulties. Therefore the possibility of them being used for air flight in the near future is very low.
The Challenges of being a Celebrity
In his description of the stay of Greta and Svelte, Holzhausen gave me an idea of the sacrifices the couple have made by spending so much time away from home and the rest of the family. Greta’s mother and younger sister remain behind in Sweden, and it may be a good few months before the family is once again united. Greta and her Dad have been invited to a major conference in South America in March next year.
The one problem with attending this conference will be negotiating a return trip to Europe by sea in March 2020. Apparently at that time of the year the currents are not favourable for sailing from West to East. The travelling duo has still to overcome that practical issue before finalising their plans.
An idealistic new piece of journalism describes the story of an idealistic Climate Activist and her father. And, true to the aims of The Correspondent, the delightful story has been taken down because of its sensitive content. I hope my memory grasps the essence of the story without causing any offence.