As social media has become more and more engrained in people’s everyday lives, it has become a source for local and global news as much as a place to catch up with friends and family. But while this may sound convenient, there’s often little verification to make sure these stories are accurate, and news outlets are forced to chase likes and shares or risk their stories not being seen. That’s why one Anteater alumnus wants to help people separate their need for up-to-the-minute news with the “social” part of social media.
Rand Arnold, economics ’87, recently collaborated with several friends to create Spotlight Media Labs, a startup that believes in creating a “third feed,” separate from the social (Facebook and Instagram) and professional (LinkedIn), dedicated to a personalized and curated newsfeed for its subscribers. According to Spotlight’s website, content will be “curated, vetted, and verified news content that delivers both sides of the story,” and will also help journalists and publishers focus more on creating quality content and less on acquiring “likes.” Arnold is also focused on how Spotlight is going to help smaller publications that perhaps haven’t been able to create a quality web presence, by giving them a platform to distribute their content and monetize their work.
“Many of these smaller publications can no longer afford a print edition and are slowly going under – some not so slowly,” he says. “Our aim is to provide news for consumers from the small publisher and individual journalist, providing [content producers] with an income stream for their work.”
Having just launched last month, Spotlight’s creators hope that this venture will bring more points of view to more people, and allow people to access their news in a deliberate way.