Most freelance writers operate as lone wolves, pitching stories in a high-risk and increasingly lower reward field.
But a new co-op of nine journalists with pedigrees from The New Yorker, The Atlantic and other prestigious titles, and with nods from the Pulitzer Prize committee and the National Magazine Awards, has banded together to edit and promote each other’s stories. Launching today, the project, called Deca, will also pool resources to meet the expenses of members’ in-depth reporting. It takes its cue from photojournalists who popularized cooperatives in the 1940s and 1950s, an era of similar technological change but long predating the days when members could communicate through Skype, Gchat and email.
Deca will take more than good will and team spirit to succeed, said Marc Herman, a member who lives in Barcelona, Spain. He hopes that the cooperative model, splitting among its international members revenue from stories sold on Amazon and on Deca’s new app, will keep everyone engaged. (The group’s members, including Tom Zoellner, Stephan Faris and McKenzie Funk, report and write independently and have never actually assembled as a group in person.)
At launch, Deca is far from the only online outlet for long-form narrative pieces. A number of platforms, such as Narratively, The Big Roundtable, Beacon Reader, Matter, The Atavist and Byliner, have cropped up in recent years, publishing in-depth reported work with a narrative bent. Each has its own business model, from venture capital backing to the collection of donations.
More about Meet Deca, the latest journalism cooperative via Meet Deca, the latest journalism cooperative | Capital New York.