Tapwriter Standards

Rules of Play

Become a Tapwriter



It's time for a new kind of journalism. 

These words were written in big letters in the header of our first website. It was the website where we explained the idea of tapwriter for the first time. Today tapwriter went live. Beta, a first version. The old header had to give way to a new one, but its spirit remains.

With tapwriter we have created a place where together with want to build a strong future for journalism. There is still a lot of work to do. We have defined nine founding principles that will give us orientation along the way and serve as a basis for dialogue.

From the fournding principles the Tapwriter Standards have emerged. The standards are short and pragmatic for as much freedom of publication and dialogue as possible.

The Tapwriter Standards are part of the Constitution. It regulates the functioning of the platform and the cooperation within the community. Like the platform itself, the Standards and the Constitution are also in a "beta-version". So that we can develop them together, rethink them, and improve them based on the experiences we will be making.

The search for new kind of journalism is an ambitious project. This too was already written on our first website. A project - we knew from the beginning - can only be brought to success in cooperation with other committed people.

So let's do it. Together.

Sarah, Guvener and Marc

November 2019


Tapwriter Standards


There are many country-specific codes for classical journalism. They contain practical principles and ethical standards for journalists. They are right and important. For a new type of journalism, however, we want to think beyond the existing codes. That is why we have formulated nine standards for tapwriters from our guiding principles:

1. Pioneering spirit
I am convinced that a new kind of journalism is needed in a networked world. As a tapwriter, I am open, curious and eager to help shape the journalism of tomorrow.

2. Responsibility

I publish regularly and discuss my work with the community. As a tapwriter, I take responsibility for an objective and constructive exchange at eye level.

3. Transparency

I am authentic and transparent. As a tapwriter, I identify myself as a real person (real name, real profile picture) and disclose vested interests (profession, memberships, political activities, etc.).

4. Participation

I work with the community. As a tapwriter, I discuss my ideas, projects and stories, respond to suggestions and constructive criticism, and incorporate feedback into my work.

5. Traceability

I'm showing my access to one. As a tapwriter I name and link my sources whenever possible. I declare what is secured knowledge and what is based on assumptions. I make my points of view recognizable as such.

6. Openness

I'm open to new approaches. As a tapwriter I get involved in experiments with new journalistic forms and formats. I share my experiences and discuss the results with the community.

7. Respect

I respect the self-determination of the community. As a tapwriter, I do not deceive or manipulate any processes or procedures on the platform. I respect the privacy of other users.

8. Independence

I act in the interest of my community. As a tapwriter I will not be influenced or restricted by other interests. I declare the secondary use of contributions on tapwriter as well as products and services made available to me for stories.

9. Commitment

I'm part of the community. As a tapwriter, I work internally and externally for a constructive feedback and error culture. This is my contribution to the further development of tapwriter.

Status: November 2019



Rules of Play

Here you will find the most important rules for a functioning community on tapwriter.


Editorial standards and general terms and conditions


  • Scope of application of standards and general terms and conditions
    The Tapwriter Standards reflect tapwriter's expectations of the community. They serve as orientation for registered users. They are binding for tapwriters. The General Terms and Conditions are binding for all.

  • Report violations of the standards or GTCs
    All users registered on tapwriter can report a potential violation of the Tapwriter Standards or the General Terms and Conditions on the story in question.

  • What happens in the event of an infringement?
    Anyone who violates the Tapwriter Standards or the General Terms and Conditions will be contacted by us and, if necessary, sanctioned in accordance with the General Terms and Conditions.


Become a Tapwriter


  • What are Tapwriters?
    Tapwriters are verified users. They can finance their work with the support of the community.


  • How can I become a Tapwriter?
    Users who want to become tapwriters go through the following verification process.

    1. Registration: 
    Registered users can apply via the registration form.

    2. Check: 
    tapwriter checks incoming applications for completeness and correctness.

    3. Verification: 
    After successful verification, the profiles of the users receive the status "Upcoming Tapwriter" for four weeks. If the community or the tapwriter team does not find any violation of the standards or the general terms and conditions during this time, they will receive verification as tapwriters.




The Plattform


    tapwriter (written in small letters) is a platform on which we work together with the community on the journalism of tomorrow. As a "Minimum Viable Product", i.e. platform with minimal requirements and features, tapwriter already has various options for use, publication, support, dialogue and collaboration. They will be expanded step by step in exchange with the community.


Possible uses


  • Visitor
    Unregistered visitors can view publicly accessible content. You cannot perform any interactions or transactions on tapwriter.


  • User
    Registered users inside can provide a personal profile. This allows them to create projects and publish stories in them. The stories are freely accessible to other registered users. They can also view stories from other registered users* and add them to their reading list. They can follow other users* and subscribe to their projects.


  • Member
    Registered users can purchase a paid membership. They can also view all premium stories (paywall) of Tapwriters and support Tapwriters financially for their projects and stories. A member can also comment on and discuss all stories, projects and ideas.


  • Upcoming Tapwriters
    Registered users can have themselves verified as tapwriters. A tapwriter undergoes a four-week verification phase during which he is identified as an "Upcoming Tapwriter" on the platform. During this time the community and the tapwriter team check whether the prospective tapwriter does not violate the tapwriter standards or the general terms and conditions.


  • Tapwriter
    The Tapwriter has additional functions. His profile gets a "support button" which allows him to get financial support from members for his stories, projects or ideas.


  • Administrator
    Administrators belong to the tapwriter team and are contact persons for all technical and content-related matters. They handle reports of violations of the Tapwriter Standards or the General Terms and Conditions.


  • Community
    The tapwriter community in the narrower sense includes all users, members and tapwriters who are active on the platform. In a broader sense, this also means all interested people who discuss the future of journalism and our project on their social media profiles under #newkindofjournalism.




  • Story
    A story consists of text with the possibility of integrating images. All users can enter stories and publish them publicly. A story can be geliked and added to a reading list.


  • Premium Story
    A premium story can only be viewed by members and Tapwriters.


  • Project
    A project consists of thematically bundled stories and can be subscribed to by users.


  • Idea
    An Idea is a special status of a story. Ideas can be launched to discuss planned projects or stories with the community.



Support possibilities


  • Credits
    Registered, paying users acquire Credits with their membership. Members can use them to support Tapwriters and their Projects and Stories.



Dialogue and collaboration


  • Discussion
    With a membership, users acquire a certain number of credits. The credits can be used to support tapwriters and their stories or projects.


  • Collaboration
    Tapwriters have the opportunity to present their ideas for projects or stories to the community, gather feedback, and solicit financial support.