Vision and Mission
The Internet allows us to interact with an ever-growing number of people - seemingly regardless of distance. This ease of communication however hides the difficulty of communicating well with people who do not share our own social and religious conventions, our political views, or our assumptions of what is ‘normal’.
If the common ground between conversation partners is small, they will inevitably struggle to understand each other well - something that can quickly lead to the heated debates and toxic exchanges we often find in the comment sections of news sites, blogs and social media postings.
With Correspondents of the World, we strive after a world in which we have a better understanding of one another. This means we acknowledge both our differences and similarities. Not just in our local communities, but in a larger, world-wide community. We believe that a better understanding of one another will allow for a better way of communicating, and, as a consequence, a fairer and more equal dialogue between people - irrespective of their backgrounds.
Correspondents of the World aims to encourage people from all over the world to reflect on their assumptions of what is ‘normal’, on the subjectivity of their world views, on (implicit) power relations such as prejudices and privilege, and the power of narrative in shaping their opinions. We mainly interact with people in one of two ways; as writers or as readers:
Writers (our correspondents). We challenge people from all over the world to realise their own voice by encouraging them to tell their stories and share their personal experiences in relation to global issues we all experience in our own way: environment and climate change, gender and sexuality, migration and exile, liberation and human rights, and the impacts of the Corona Virus pandemic.
By collecting, translating and publishing these stories on our website and social media channels, Correspondents of the World provides the means to amplify individual voices, reaching a diverse, global audience and a growing community dedicated to understanding global issues one story at a time.
Readers (our audience and community). We challenge people from all over the world to realise how the same global issues they experience in their everyday life are experienced differently by others, and encourage them to reflect on their assumptions, prejudices and privileges with every story we share. We hope to foster a better understanding of the very personal implications that issues like gender, sexuality, migration or liberation can have on people, and aim to help readers who were so far not actively involved in those topics to better grasp the meaning of these topics.
With growing resources, Correspondents of the World lastly is not meant to exist solely as an online platform, but also engage people from all over the globe offline, through initiatives such as discussions, workshops and panels, or by providing educational toolkits to be used as teaching resources.
Global Issues Through Local Eyes
We are Correspondents of the World, an online platform where people from all over the world share their personal stories in relation to global development. We try to collect stories from people of all ages and genders, people with different social and religious backgrounds and people with all kinds of political opinions in order to get a fuller picture of what is going on behind the big news.
At Correspondents of the World we invite everyone to share their own story. This means we don't have professional writers or skilled interviewers. We believe that this approach offers a whole new perspective on topics we normally only read about in the news - if at all.
We acknowledge that the stories we collect will necessarily be biased. But so is news. Believing in the power of the narrative, our growing team of awesome editors helps correspondents to make sure that their story is strictly about their personal experience - and let that speak for itself.
At Correspondents of the World, we want to contribute to a better understanding of one another in a world that seems to get smaller by the day - but somehow neglects to bring people closer together as well. We think that one of the most frequent reasons for misunderstanding and unnecessarily heated debates is that we don't really understand how each of us is affected differently by global issues.
Our aim is to change that with every personal story we share.
We believe in quality over quantity. To give ourselves a focus, we started out to collect personal stories that relate to our correspondents' experiences with six different global topics. However, these topics were selected to increase the likelihood that the stories of different correspondents will cover the same issues and therefore illuminate these issues from different perspectives - and not to exclude any stories. If you have a personal story relating to a global issue that's not covered by our topics, please still reach out to us! We definitely have some blind spots and are happy to revise our focus and introduce new topics at any point in time.
Discussions about the environment often center on grim, impersonal figures. Among the numbers and warnings, it is easy to forget that all of these statistics actually also affect us - in very different ways. We believe that in order to understand the immensity of environmental topics and global climate change, we need the personal stories of our correspondents.
Gender is the assumption of a "normal". Unmet expectations of what is normal are a world-wide cause for violence. We hope that the stories of our correspondents will help us to better understand the effects of global developments related to gender and sexuality, and to reveal outdated concepts that have been reinforced for centuries.
Our correspondents write about migration because it is a deeply personal topic that is often dehumanized. People quickly become foreigners, refugees - a "they". But: we have always been migrating, and we always will. For millions of different reasons. By sharing personal stories about migration, we hope to re-humanize this global topic.
We want to support the demand for justice by spotlighting the personal stories of people who seek liberation in all its different forms. Our correspondents share their individual experiences in creating equality. We hope that for some this will be an encouragement to continue their own struggle against inequality and oppression - and for some an encouragement to get involved.
2020 is a year different from others before - not least because of the Corona pandemic. The worldwide spread of a highly contagious virus is something that affects all of us in very different ways. To get a better picture of how the pandemic's plethora of explicit and implicit consequences influences our everyday life, we share lockdown stories from correspondents all over the world.
Although we started just over a year ago, Correspondents of the World has a quickly growing community of correspondents - and a dedicated team of editors, translators and country managers.
Correspondents of the World is as much a community as an online platform. Please feel free to contact us for whatever reason!