earth at night
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An ambitious news start-up is aiming to change the way people see the world through 'foundational journalism'.

"In mainstream news, you might talk about an explosion in a market somewhere in Iraq, for example," said Luke Ambrose, founder, Odin Media Project.

"But with foundational news, you talk about what causes terrorism, what feeds into it, why these things happen over time, not necessarily the big explosive event that happened today."

Foundational journalism, essentially, builds on the idea that the current news media fails to help its audiences develop an accurate and balanced worldview. The Odin Media Project aims to provide audiences with that foundational level of understanding on major news stories.

In reality, this means going beyond breaking news stories with a podcast and an accompanying newsletter for audiences who do not have time to read longer-form content. Some of these ideas are similar to The Correspondent, the 'antidote to breaking news', where Ambrose interned, or slow journalism start-up Tortoise.

Chasing the breaking news headlines leads to a 'warped worldview' he claimed, where audiences do not fully understand the complexities of stories.

"A lot of times, we can get caught up in the hamster wheel of news, but if we look at the data and take a step back from the day-to-day noise and the Twitter rants, we can see more clearly that progress is being made around the world, and we can learn from those lessons and implement them elsewhere," Ambrose said.

He is inspired by the work of the late academic and co-founder of the Gapminder Foundation Hans Rosling. Ambrose explained he wanted to create a news platform to help address this 'world ignorance'.

Part of the plan to achieve this is to cultivate knowledge from a Facebook community linked to the project, sourcing experience and sustaining important conversations in the process. It will also provide the right checks and balances to hold the project to account.

"We’re trying to build the largest possible base with lots of different expertise. I don’t just mean scientists and policy creators - I want a wide range of society because that way we can really curb that ignorance that we all experience."

Initially self-funded by a small unpaid team of four, future plans for the project include a membership model and digital advertising so long as it meets editorial standards. The extra funds will help the team think of other formats for its content besides podcasts and newsletters, such as video.

Are you looking for new ways to engage your audience? Join us at Newsrewired on 4 June at MediaCityUK where we will talk about effective audience engagement strategies. Click here for more details and tickets

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