In space, no one can hear your fake news

Shortly after graduating from college, I got the opportunity to work at NASA and then a satellite start-up. Using earth-observation satellites, my team looked over every square mile of the planet every 24 hours. Our efforts helped insurance companies to spot fraud, cities to locate leaking pipes, and farmers to grow better grains (for better beer!)

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First Day at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Having worked with satellite camera technology so powerful that it could spot pipes leaking, it is unimaginable to me that we still don’t have access to a set of crystal-clear, undisputed facts about what’s happening on the planet, especially when it comes to current events. Instead of making people more clued in, the boom in online news has left them overwhelmed and under-informed as they try to piece together bits of information from social media and conflicting news sources. As a result, the trust in mass media news altogether has dropped to 41% in 2019. So I co-founded Ground News to fight against the rise of misinformation, sensationalism, and biased news.

When we started Ground News, we looked at the existing solutions: crowdsourcing (if it is trending then it is true) and algorithms (if it is in my feed then it is true).

Crowdsourcing doesn’t necessarily arrive at the truth as popular news can often blur the facts.

Algorithms can be gamed by those who want to game them.

The ultimate and only solution is to empower readers with objective data so they compare coverage, draw their own conclusions, and arrive at the truth themselves. That’s why I’m thrilled to announce the launch of Ground News Pro today.

Ground News Pro is the world’s first news source comparison platform. Drawing from more than 40,000 media outlets worldwide and featuring an average of 30,000 news stories per day, we empower readers to arrive at the truth themselves. For each news story, we find dozens of publications across the political spectrum and from around the world covering the same event. Readers can quickly get a comprehensive view of what’s being said, who is saying it, how it’s being presented, and where and when in the world it was published or aired

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On Reuters Panel on Tech and Trust in News moderated by Reg Chua- COO Reuters

There is no silver bullet or single infallible publication. Our best option is to look at a variety of different perspectives and synthesize them ourselves, and Ground News Pro offers an array of visualization and comparison tools intended for just that. Ground News Pro goes several steps beyond our free offering of Ground News Basic and provides all the relevant information required by the reader to understand a piece of news, presented in the easiest to use and streamlined format.

We aspire to four key principles:

  1. Impervious: No matter what the political leanings of Ground News’ users, the platform’s political center of gravity will not shift.
  2. Scalable: Ground News is scalable in its architecture, content, display and reach to serve as many users as well as possible.
  3. Ubiquitous: Ground News will attempt to cover as much news, from local to international, along every topic so that our users do not have blind spots in their knowledge of current events.
  4. Agnostic: Whether you are on the left, right or center, Ground News aspires to be equally informative to all users.

Keeping with these principles, Ground News includes as many accurate credible publications as possible, reaching as far across the political spectrum as the facts allow.

In Ground News Pro, debuting at $0.99/month or $9.99/year, we not only offer the news but a deeper look at each publication delivering the news.

Each media outlet is categorized based on bias data provided by three third-party nonprofits dedicated to monitoring and rating news sources along the political spectrum. Each news story is tracked from first reports through the aftermath, and diverging narratives are clearly identified. Stories of international importance are shown with coverage from multiple countries including uninvolved parties, to get as close to the unaltered truth as possible.

I think it’s about time that we fix the systemic problems in the way we find, consume, and act on the news. In 2020, as the United States prepares to vote in a critical presidential election and the world confronts challenges from war to climate change I invite you to join me in choosing to see the news clearly.

I implore you to try out Ground New Pro and see the news more clearly in 2020. If the future of the media and the leadership of nations isn’t enough ;) let me sweeten the deal. Use code Medium2020 to get a one-month free Ground News Pro Subscription.

Written by

Co-Founder Ground News, Ex- NASA, Ex-Rolls-Royce jet engines, Techstars

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