Launched on International Fact-Checking Day on 2 April, Newsvoice is an app and news site that curates stories with links to different perspectives from a range of sources.
Focused on US news, the app relies on technology to find the stories and to filter out paywalled articles, opinion pieces, satire, and fake news among others.
Newsvoice was built by chief executive and founder Viktor Lidholt and co-founder Oscar Hedwall, and the team is currently based in Stockholm, having received funding from Propel Capital.
Lidholt, who previously worked in software engineering at Google in San Francisco, was inspired to start Newsvoice by the conversations around journalism and the public’s views on the media at the time of the US elections in 2016.
“Being there, I noticed how upset many people were with the media in the US, so I was thinking a lot about how this could be done better, and the best way to do it. Showing more perspectives on the news is a good idea,” Lidholt told Journalism.co.uk.
“I think there is often a big difference in what people think about the news and what the big news corporations are writing, so I wanted to align that better so the readers have more of a say.”
Newsvoice uses the list from the OpenSources project headed by Melissa Zimdars, associate professor of communications at Merrimack College, to filter out non-reputable news sources and those more likely to publish stories that do not fit with the app’s remit.
Each story featured in the app links to around three sources, labelled 'left', 'right', or 'Europe' for example to offer a range of views, and app users can upvote stories, add comments, and suggest edits to the links or picture featured alongside a story.
The labels vary depending on the story, with sources for technology stories for instance labelled as ‘mainstream’ or ‘tech’ to distinguish between the specialist titles and the general news media.
The team is continuously adding to the news websites it scans for stories, including larger news outlets as well as smaller ones and those based outside of the United States.
Once user numbers grow, Lidholt and Hedwall are considering several directions of growth for Newsvoice, from adding more local news to expanding to content related to the news, such as fact-checks or timelines of ongoing issues and conflicts.
In the near future, Newsvoice will feature summaries for the top stories within the app, as well as explore monetisation options and potentially integrate advertising. The team is also planning to incorporate crowdsourcing into the workflow.
“We start by doing automation and having people here that can make sure the content is good, and then we want to build this into a completely crowdsourced solution, step-by-step.“
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