Group therapy with De Correspondent: our top 10 f*ck-ups with members, and other awkward moments (including yours)

Journalism can be frustrating sometimes or even daily, and professionals know it. Saving contexts, platforms and kinds of coverage, journalism is the same job everywhere, so when experiences are shared, the others may at least empathize.
That was the purpose of Dutch De Correspondent co-founder, Jessica Best, who leaded a group therapy this morning with journalists from all around the world in the second day of the International Journalism Festival, at Perugia.
Without knowing each other, journalists started to share with each other successes and mistakes, but especially they shared what they learned from those mistakes, after their partner gave its opinion on what he or she thought the other had learned.
“Mistakes are different from what you learn about them, and each one sees its own mistakes (and the ones of the others) in a unique way,” Ms. Best affirmed. And the ones who attended confirmed it with examples from newspapers, TV channels and radio stations.
That is why Ms. Best also them to talk with each other about what did they learn from a special person for their career: editors, teammates, bosses… All that to make them know that their professional situations can be similar all around the world.
Then it was turn for De Correspondent’s mistakes and learnings. Even when they present themselves like “an antidote to the daily news grind” and even having 60.000 members who pay 70 euros per year for good stories and investigative journalism, the 47-fulltime team of De Correspondent accept that not even them are living the “media dream.”
That is why Ms. Best invites to don’t second guess what members want (because “they hate it”) while admitting that working with them. De Correspondent co-founder also encourages the journalists to admit mistakes wholeheartedly at their media, also because “members won’t visit every nook and cranny of the website.”
And considering the innovative spirit that involves de 12th edition of the International Journalism Festival, Ms. Best clarifies that “innovation in theory is different than innovation in practice” and that “building cool tools isn’t enough.”
To know how to orient those innovation and tools for their job, media must have clear its goals. For De Correspondent, as Ms. Best stated, is “impact, not page views, and invite people to an active conversation where there is a direct relation between them and the content.”

José Manuel Cuevas Borda