About The Newsroom
- Founders: Jenny Romano, Pedro Henriques
- Founded in: December 2020
- Employees: 0 (only the founders)
- Money raised: None, own money is being used.
- Ultimate goal: Giving newsreaders access to reliable information that will open them up to other points of view so that healthy debates can take place once more.
Misinformation and disinformation; a daily occurrence on the Internet. Jenny Romano and Pedro Henriques from Portugal were fed up with it. Their concerns led them to found The Newsroom in 2020. Jenny Romano talks to us about it.
What is The Newsroom?
“We fight misinformation and disinformation on the Internet and foster plurality. By plurality, we mean different perspectives, balanced points of view and transparency. The algorithms – of the internet and of your social media – often show you sources that already align with your worldview. Or what you have already been reading about. We have developed an AI technology that checks the reliability of the news source, provides context to an article and background information to the news you read. We want to move away from fast news consumption and add more depth.”
How did you come up with this idea?
“Pedro and I were concerned about how people are turning against each other because of the way they consume news. Debates often degenerated into heated discussions. We discussed during endless round table discussions how technology could be used for good to help address this problem. We believe that The Newsroom can contribute to this. Pedro used to work for LinkedIn and has a background in data science, I worked at Google in sales. We quit our jobs to be able to fully dedicate ourselves to this.”
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What challenges has The Newsroom faced or expects to face?
“We are a small team of just two people. We’re working together to build up a healthy business. Time in particular is a challenge right now. There is a constant focus on prioritization and agility. This means we have to think and act quickly while also not losing sight of the bigger picture. This is sometimes difficult, but also fun and informative.”
What does the future of The Newsroom look like?
“I hope that in five years’ time we will be a solid company that users have a lot of confidence in. And that through collaborations with news outlets and other journalism companies, we can gradually remodel the news industry. We want durable journalism with less clickbait stories and tinted information streams. We also want to actively involve news consumers in this by listening to their feedback so that we can optimize our AI technology. Most importantly, we want to give readers the tools to start thinking critically about the news they consume.”
Read previous instalments in this series here.