Concord is a news publishing platform for independent journalism. A platform that aims to build a sustainable model for journalism to thrive rather than merely survive. To understand our mission, we need you to distinguish between journalism as a service, media as the medium and news as the end product. Up until now, the imperatives to strengthen journalism and to strengthen the media have been so tightly wound that it is indistinguishable. This has been a fine accident but when it stops, as it is happening in front of our eyes, we’ll realize that what matters in news is not publishing but reporting.
Independent journalists who are not associated with any media house go through an inefficient process of pitching their stories to publishers and wait for them to approve it. It makes increasingly less sense to depend upon publishing houses because the problem publishing solves- the incredible difficulty and expense of making something available to the public- has stopped being a problem. So if you are a journalist, this is how Concord is different than any other news platform in the world:
1. Choose your stories and publish them
Concord allows you to be truly independent by enabling you to reach the users directly. That means in-depth stories from not only well-established journalists but from local journalists too.
2. Build your audience
Concord will be a home for all your work. The exponential rise of influencer culture has shown how powerful having your online audience can be. When we focus on building our audience, we listen to them more carefully to serve only them and not any advertiser
3. The future of journalism is independent yet collaborative
Journalists have always been seen in a race to reach the consumer but when the stories are told from a group of journalists with one objective, it not only ensures depth but diversity as well. This enables stories to cross borders and language to reach users with the help of fellow journalist which would not have been possible without collaboration
During the Age of Paper, we got used to the idea that authority comes in the form of a stop sign: You’ve reached a source whose reliability requires no further inquiry. But that was true when the information was a scarce resource, which is not the case anymore. What this means for consumers is that they are no more passively consuming news, they want to voice their opinions and participate in the process. Therefore, enabling user participation is central to our platform.
At the end of every news story, there will be a 2-option poll ( designed by the reporter) requiring users to voice their opinion within 24 hours. This will change the way we consume news that is we’ll not just be understanding about what happened but also how a community reacted to it
Engage with people who think differently
Once they have voted, users can engage with people who have voted differently in the form of their responses (comments). This helps in enabling highly engaged users to help inform each other and understand the other side of their opinion
Save time in forming an informed opinion
Since the process of arriving at an informed opinion involves users to read through diverse sources, is time-consuming and requires effort, the passive users will find additional value in the conversations between both sides. They will be served diverse opinions through these responses at a single place.
Users on Concord will not solely rely on journalists but also on each other to arrive at an informed opinion in the most accessible way:
We understand collective participation may bear negative effects. Hence we aim to find a balance between diversity of opinion and credibility of the source.
This started as a debating platform 4 years ago when we (my cofounder, Ketan and I) were in college. At first, we expected our users to come and debate but we soon realized that nobody debates without a context. So the context had to be news but as consumers ourselves we found it so difficult to trust the available news. Sometimes debates used to happen on facts which turned out to be false eventually. This made us realize how important is to have a basic sense of shared reality.
News is essentially a conversation that a community gets involved in while journalists ensure that this conversation remains rooted in reality and is about issues that matter to the community. Today, what we are experiencing is the complete opposite of it-
1. Not only are our opinions different but our facts too. As a result, our conversations lack the sense of shared reality because we are missing an important ingredient that is: a consensus about fundamental components of our society
2. Media houses are not talking about issues that matter to us but issues that serve the advertisers in most cases
We believe through Concord, we can build tools for journalists to work independently and bring stories that matter, while enabling a community of different minded people to help inform each other.
Concord is built for everyone. We encourage you to sign up and give it a try.
You can contact us on Twitter @concordappIN.