The journey to build a news product is far from linear

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When I spoke to people in my home country of Egypt, they were actively avoiding the news. Many young people in their 20s and 30s wanted to leave because it was full of problems. As someone with an editorial, journalistic background, I was annoyed and felt moved to act. I wanted to show people that there were solutions, we just don’t hear about them.

I joined a startup accelerator to learn about business and tech for news, and explained my idea. One of the mentors stopped me and said, “So you are fixing a problem for yourself?”

At this point I realized I was basing my idea on what I wanted rather than what the users or the audience needed, a common mistake that many journalists who want to start their own media ventures fall into.

It was then that I remembered the dozens of messages I received on Twitter and LinkedIn from young aspiring journalists about how to join the BBC – my former employer – or how to get published there.

I finally understood that, instead of launching yet another media outlet, Egab could be a platform to support young and budding journalists to pitch solutions journalism stories and get published in international media. At the same time, the platform would act as a marketplace for international media editors to be able to select from the pitches, giving them access to unique content.

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