I am incredibly excited to announce that earlier today I accepted an offer to join the digital news startup Grasswire as their managing editor for North America.
Grasswire is a digital news startup that aims to tear down the wall that exists between a publication and its audience. In many legacy and digital newsrooms, the research and reporting model is one where a team of reporters and editors produce the news for an audience to consume, and where the only input avenues for the audience is in an article’s comments, on social media or by e-mailing the editorial staff directly.
At Grasswire, the editorial process is put in the hands of the readers. A community of news enthusiasts set the tone for the editorial agenda of the day, helping to verify and vet facts and content along the way. Editors, like me, help discover and amplify certain topics and provide expertise and guidance to our audience on reporting, researching and verification.
For the last two years, I have built a number of products (The Feed) and services (@CoralNews) that sought to give journalists and news consumers alike the tools to find news stories faster and connect with better sources. I have interviewed with a number of news organizations and startups that are doing interesting and similar things in the digital news space, but nowhere have I felt more of a connection than with Grasswire and its chief executive Austen Allred.
Austen and I have similar thoughts and ideas when it comes to the future of news gathering and reporting, and I’m incredibly excited at some of the things that are in store for Grasswire’s community that we both hope will provoke and influence the digital news industry.
Some of the services and tools I’ve built over the last few years will be integrated into current and future Grasswire products. The Twitter feed and lists at @CoralNews — which was going to launch as a separate news portal — will be relaunched as a companion Grasswire account for rolling reports on breaking news stories when events happen. The Feed will continue to be developed as a standalone media monitoring resource, with some of the best services potentially being integrated into future Grasswire products. And although I will be joining Grasswire full-time, I will also continue to file original, independent news stories here on The Desk and elsewhere on a freelance basis.
“If you want to go fast, go alone.
If you want to go far, go together.”
– African proverb