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A new online app has been launched for freelancers looking to sell exclusive stories and ideas to news editors.

Qluso, which was developed by Northern Irish technology start-up NewsRupt and goes live in beta on 4 October, will allow news editors to browse through stories submitted by freelancers and place bids to become the first to publish the material.

Freelancers using the service will set a reserve price and time limit before uploading their stories. The service says it will pay freelancers on the same day that stories are sold.

The app will be free to use during the private beta period. From January, when it comes out of beta, editors will be able to sign up for free or premium accounts and Qluso will take a 15 per cent commission from every sale fee, Lyra McKee, co-founder of NewsRupt, told Journalism.co.uk.

"Before Qluso, a freelancer would have spent weeks and months trying to find the right editor to pitch their story to, bombarding them with emails, haggling over the right price for their story and then spent another 8 weeks or more chasing for payment. This is a regular occurrence," said McKee.

"News editors have similar problems finding quality stories. They can wait weeks and months just to find a good story. Their staff are so overstretched that they just don’t have time to search for exclusives. Qluso removes these pains. It reduces what have previously been long, drawn-out processes for freelancers and editors down to a number of clicks on a computer."

According to NewsRupt, 100 journalists have already signed up as beta users of the service, while news editor sign-ups include staff from two national newspapers. The start-up is aiming for 5,000 freelance users and 200 news editors within its first year.

McKee, who won the Sky News Young Journalist of the Year award in 2006, co-founded NewsRupt with three other young entrepreneurs. The start-up is currently raising its first round of investment and will build mobile and web applications for newspapers and journalists.

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