Product Idea: An issue-based personalized news app

I want to create a mobile app that’s a hub for issues-based news. This will be a place where users can go to get a “deep dive” of top headlines and underreported issues — a deeper look at the history of an issue, the current status, the key players and how to get involved. The primary product will be a mobile app and we will also have a newsletter and website.

My hypothesis is that people often read headlines and trending stories, but don’t know where to look to get full context or to get involved. This app will provide that by giving users a hub for specific, complex and trending issues.

When users download the app, they will select topics they are most interested in and what time they want their daily digest (morning, afternoon or evening). Each day we will send a curated notification of top stories to the user at their self-selected time. From this notification, users will get a personalized list of news with human-written summaries. Users will be able to click on any of the stories to enter the app and will be taken to that issue’s hub. For example, there will be a “hub” for the Syrian Civil War, Donald Trump, etc. These hubs will have aggregated news stories, videos, photo essays and original content about the topic.

We will primarily focus on dev resources to build the app and personalization tools. We’ll have a few journalists working on original content and securing content and distribution partnerships with organizations like the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, Thomson Reuters Foundation, Southern Poverty Law Center, etc. Because this app is issues focused, there will be an area where users can learn how to get involved with the above organizations.

To begin, we’ll launch with three hubs: the Syrian civil war, U.S. president-elect Donald Trump and criminal justice/race relations in the U.S. After testing those hubs, we’ll look to our users to begin building out other topics.