Acuerdo, an old Spanish word for 'agreement', is a "journalistic start up" and innovations lab", according to Idoia Sota, Acuerdo's chief executive and editor, and will include long-form journalism, data journalism, interactives, newsgames and investigations.
"We are pissed-off readers but we are also pissed-off journalists," Sota told Journalism.co.uk. "It's this sentiment that when you face media you think they are not offering all that it is possible to be offered and you're not finding really good stories.
"Maybe you see a good headline but then it's just a press release from an agency or just copy and pasted from somewhere else. Then you're disappointed. That's pissed off, when you're not finding what you're looking for."
The commitment to transparency is illustrated by the live stream to the newsroom and, by giving their journalism a constant purpose, Sota wants to escape the "noise" of social media and online news and provide readers with infrequent but in-depth stories every 15 days.
The first edition of Acuerdo will launch in November, paid for by subscriptions and pledges from an ongoing Kickstarter campaign, and be published in English, Spanish and Portuguese, the three languages most widely used on the internet by the Western world.
It has three main features: a digital comic by acclaimed political cartoonist Joe Sacco, looking at the repercussions of the Bosnian War; an investigation by Daniel Campos into the business of Somali pirates illustrated by Rafa Höhr; and a newsgame that "dives into the deep web".
"It's recreating the oppression and danger of navigating the deep web and the many programs you have to download and things you have to take care of," Sota explained, alluding to some of the steps journalists can take to protect their work.All these fresh ideas that we wanted to apply to our work, they weren't really being listened toIdoia Sota, Acuerdo
"All of these things we are recreating in the newsgame so you can go up and down the deep web and find out by yourself which kinds of content you are going to find in the deep web and really navigating it."
Sota and the founding team are well-connected, the key to securing an award-winning journalist like Sacco or the experienced Höhr, who spent three years developing the Sunday Times's graphic department, for the first issue.
Sota's career to date includes launching magazines at El Pais and El Mundo, while deputy editor Pedro Garcia Campos has experience in newspapers, TV and magazines, and London-based desk editor Maruxa Ruiz del Árbol writes for the BBC, Wired, GQ and a host of other publications.
"This is something we really felt when we were in our jobs, we had the idea that all these fresh ideas that we wanted to apply to our work, they weren't really being listened to," Sota said.
"So we thought it was time, there's something changing in the media, not only in Spain but in the world. There are changes in the way people are communicating between each other so we thought it was a good time to do this."
Central to these new ideas and forward-thinking journalism, believes Sota, is the use of data in telling stories and informing readers. The first data project is an investigation into Madrid's health system, which Sota describes as "controversial", with large parts sold to private companies.
"We have an exclusive on some data sets and we're working on them to try to explain why some hospitals are going to be sold and not others," Sota explained. "And also to try to make it useful for people."
To achieve this, the project will also aim to provide greater information on hospitals and the quality of care available.
Other planned projects compiling sets of data include a comparison of the way young people live in different countries around the world, looking for the best and worst countries for today's youth to live in.
"We're comparing not just Europe but also, America and Asia and Africa and all around," Sota said. "All continents and representative countries. We're not doing this between journalists, we're also counting on analysts to do it in a proper, professional way."We sit down and think about each article as a projectIdoia Sota, Acuerdo
And the long-form nature of the articles will lend itself better to tablet, Sota believes, because mobile screens are not large enough for long articles and desktop can have too many distractions, such as the constant draw of email.
"The tablet is a good experience, it's something you touch. It's like eating and other things you do with your hands. It's primal and we think it really engages people. We think this is the best place to enjoy our articles and the interactivity of our articles."
Such interactivity can be expensive though, she said, which is why the team are reaching out on Kickstarter to offer subscription bundles to fund the project into the future and looking to team up with technology companies working on games or visualisations. And by giving themselves two weeks between stories, she wants to make sure each topic is approached naturally, with every option available to represent it digitally.
"We start working with an article and ask the article what do you want to be? Do you want to be a documentary? An interactive doc? Maybe you are a data visualisation?," she said.
"This is the way we work, all together with developers and designers and contributors and artists and animators that come together to the same meeting. We sit down and think about each article as a project."
Correction: We orignially mispelled Idoia Sota's name as "Sato", the article has now been amended
Free daily newsletter
- Startups with innovative solutions for newsrooms can now apply to global programme
- How to map connections between individuals, companies and more with VIS
- Tip: Use these resources to file a Freedom of Information request in different countries
- Pen, paper and data: Orb's approach to global reporting
- Tip: Advice for incorporating data skills into a journalism curriculum