Broken News

Co-presented with the Sydney Democracy Network, Post Truth Initiative and the UTS School of Communication for the 2017 Festival of Democracy



14 September 2017

Our news is broken. It informs us most about the least important affairs in the world, whilst leaving us completely in the dark about the most fundamental developments that shape our lives and societies. Rob Wijnberg founded De Correspondent, a member-funded journalism platform for independent voices, to do something about this. In his talk, he will expand on why the news is such a misleading source of information and offer his ideas on how we could do something about its greatest lacks. The ultimate goal is not only to create a better informed civil society, but to restore trust in journalism along the way as well. Trust that is desperately needed, in a time where authoritarian leaders assault the freedom of the press more and more.

Chair: Professor Peter Fray, Centre for Media Transition, UTS

Comments by Lenore Taylor, Guardian Australia


At the age of 27, Rob Wijnberg became the youngest editor-in-chief of a national daily newspaper in Europe at, the morning edition of leading Dutch daily NRC Handelsblad. Under Rob’s leadership, reached a paid circulation record of 82,000 and a daily reach of 350,000, making it the most successful new newspaper in Europe.

With his outspoken views on the role of news in modern society, Rob has attracted a large following. This support helped him to put his ideas into practice in founding De Correspondent. De Correspondent’s primary objective is to redefine the concept of news: not simply to parrot whatever grabs the most attention, but to publish original work that provides the greatest insight. Put another way, to write not about the weather, but about climate. Correspondents cover important developments in their area of interest, rather than speculating about breaking news or the latest scare. De Correspondent aims to uncover the underlying forces that shape our world.