5 trailblazing news start-ups for journalists

We have selected the news start-ups
that are skyrocketing to success in 2019.

By Sandra Sparrowhawk | May 29, 2019

This year’s Journalism, Media, and Technology Trends and Predictions 2019 report confirmed the rise of start-ups looking to capitalize on new technology and audience trends.

Here are five of the best:

Curio is a subscription-based news app that curates high quality audio from some of the world’s leading newspapers – including The Economist, The Guardian, The Washington Post and The Financial Times.

Curio’s subscribers have access to thousands of professionally narrated articles that vary in length from a five-minute listen to nearly an hour’s worth of audio news. The app offers unlimited ad-free listening, both on- and offline, and covers a broad range of topics.

The only catch? An annual subscription will set listeners back $59.99 a year, or alternatively, $6.99 a month.

Read interview with Govind Balakrishnan, co-founder of Curio >

Another app that deserves your attention this year is recently launched Kinzen. Founded by Áine Kerr, Mark Little and Paul Watson, who first worked together at Storyful, Kinzen enables users to create their a personalized daily news routine by using decision-based feedback to accumulate articles of interest.

The self-made curators can choose in-app channels based off their favored topics or interests. The Dublin-based venture also offers discover sections’ to avoid filter bubbles, with channels covering everything from food and drink to cryptocurrency news.

By grouping channels in a single app rather than overwhelming readers with a continuous news feed, the founders hope to help readers overcome information overload in their daily lives. The app is available for $49.99 annually or $4.99 monthly.

Vigilant – Search and monitor across thousands of public data

Already off to a great start, this start-up won ‘the Startups for News 2018 competition’. Vigilant allows journalists to search and monitor across thousands of US public data sources in real time.

Rather than accessing different databases, the company integrates streams of data from thousands of public data and public records sources at the local, state, national and international levels, and enables reporters to carry out investigative work in a simpler and more efficient way.

Vigilant generates revenue by selling SaaS licenses of its data access platform to partners, including public affairs corporations, advocacy organisations, newsrooms and campaigns, and the financial services industry.

Currently, it is working on developing new automated tools, such as news alerts based on that data.

Agate – pay for the content you want

Agate offers new customer revenues through a digital wallet that allows users to pay for premium articles.

The London-based venture is easily integrated within existing websites and each publisher can set their own rates per article and establish a so-called ‘free point’ for their content. Any reader that reaches a publisher’s ‘free point’ in their spend will automatically benefit from unlimited access to their content for the remainder of that time period.

Customers can simply top-up whenever they run out of cash, making Agate ideal for casual readers that fear subscribing to a fixed plan is too big of a commitment.

Spaceship Media – dialogue journalism to bridge divides

Launched in 2016, Spaceship Media aims to foster meaningful dialogue across different political and socioeconomic viewpoints and generate original journalism from the process.

The company’s latest high profile project was a Spaceship Media-moderated Facebook group entitled ‘The Many’ that – successfully – brought together 400 women with diverse views, talking about politics ahead of the 2018 US mid-term elections.

Spaceship Media works with various news organizations to identify and resolve conflict in communities and produce original stories that come out of the conversations, including ongoing questions and issues relevant to the community, for partner news organizations.

Interested to find out more trending technology? Download the report: Journalism, Media, and Technology Trends and Predictions 2019