A news and opinion platform that aims to scrutinise news stories is currently being developed, due for launch next year.

Byus was inspired by the reporting of "misinformation" during the Japanese earthquake and tsunami of 2011, Robert von Rettig, head of business development for the platform, told

The team, which is based in London, started working on the idea soon after the tsunami struck in March last year and plans to launch an English-language "global" version of the site early in 2013.

"The idea came during last year's tsunami in Japan when the official news stories never seemed to contain enough truth for the public, nor was there a place for the public to scrutinise 'official news' in an organised and efficient manner," von Rettig said.

He explained that the site would be "a place online where you get news stories but also get opinions and it will allow people to write their own news stories".

He described the idea as a mix between Reddit, the platform where users post news and the community rates it, and question-and-answer site Quora.

Von Rettig said Byus will accept submissions from freelance journalists who will get paid "proper rates". They will receive payment based on how readers of the site rate the quality of their journalism.

The team behind the platform plans to fund the site by launching a subscription service where readers will pay to access investigative, in depth features. The rates Byus will pay journalists have not been worked out but the plan is that 50 per cent of the revenue generated via the subscription service will be used to pay freelancers.

Journalists and other users of Byus will also be able to post links to articles published elsewhere, and the Byus community will be encouraged to comment on the articles in an attempt to highlight "political bias and misinformation".

"Users will be able to see the entire picture, a variety of opinions regardless of their side, and to propose their own opinions.

"For the journalist, commentators and analysts Byus offers an unparalleled service giving you exposure, an intellectual community, and the freedom to express your opinions and thoughts safely, and getting paid according to the quality of submissions."

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