Bringing trust and transparency back to news
Given the current political and digital climates where popularity is the governing deciding factor when it comes to narratives and headlines, it’s fair to say that news today is under siege. For websites that deal in propagating baseless stories, integrity stems from web analytics, not factual, balanced reporting, as reported by The New York Times just after the 2016 presidential election. The integrity of truthful, fact-driven news has been lost in the wake of click-bait headlines and digital ad revenues.
In 1983, 90 percent of the US news industry was owned and controlled by 50 different companies. Today, that same 90 percent of our news, whether we read, watch or listen to it, is sourced and dominated by just six media giants. With such consolidation, narratives have become almost predictable while publications demonstrate recognizable political slants, catering to defined and enthusiastic target audiences. This diminishes how well the public is informed because it shelters alternative viewpoints, which itself breeds mob mentality fueled by like-mindedness.
Blockchain technology has the ability to change this, in fact, blockchain has the ability to democratize traditional news media like it has never been before. The reasons for this are threefold.
First, blockchain technology is secure, containing data in time-stamped blocks that chain together, continuously added and archived, making it near impossible for hackers to manipulate existing data or information within the distributed ledger.
Second, blockchain technology decentralizes authority to publish. In other words, there is no singular source that controls the message and tone of published works as with a traditional publication. DNN is not beholden to special interests, political affiliations, or susceptible to the corporatization of journalism as with many mainstream media outlets.
Third, DNN is built on an open community of like minded people who seek the unfiltered truth.
News published to DNN is curated and moderated by the community, which makes for a system predicated on a simple quality: political news created for the people, by the people, without any underlying slant or hidden agenda. This is the democratization of political news publication at its most genuine.
“The concept of citizen journalism on the blockchain is empowering primarily because it feels more authentic, Samit Singh, co-founder of DNN, said. “To me, ‘news by the people, for the people’ denotes a trustworthiness since each person owns the means of creating the content on the platform and thus, nobody is tied down to any bigger corporate entity or interests.”
In a digital age where opinion is often passed off as fact, where facts don’t carry the same weight they once did, and where reality has become sometimes indistinguishable from fabrication, trust is everything.
While blockchain is most commonly associated with its potential for revolutionizing aspects of the banking and financial services sectors such as financial transactions and asset transfers, the emerging technology’s core value rests on trust. Blockchain technology and its related features achieve a state of trustlessness, that is securing a system where users don’t need to know one another or be associated with a third-party intermediary to verify or confirm a transaction. It is implicit and autonomous, and creates something Deloitte refers to as the “trust economy.” Blockchain is the gatekeeper.
Simply put, blockchain is a distributed ledger that provides a way for information to be recorded and shared by a community. — Deloitte
Recently publicized by Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the Trump Administration, “alternative facts” are dangerously becoming more and more the norm. Given the toxicity created by partisanship, unlike anything seen in recent elections or presidencies, as well as the ease of publication and dissemination in the Internet age, fake news has become rampant.
As the political divide has grown, so has the momentum powering fake news, and the public’s acceptance of it. We believe this is largely because trust and transparency are no longer a necessary part of reporting.
News reporting has become part of the political machine.
Based out of New York, where for most of its lifetime news was centered on purity of fact, the co-founders behind DNN felt compelled to bring integrity back to news:
“DNN strives to set a baseline for trust and transparency in news publishing — two of our driving values,” said Singh.
“I’ve been fascinated by how news and info is distributed across networks for a pretty long time,” Singh added. “Before this, Dondrey and I were developing different types of social apps on mobile and just experimenting with different ways on how people share things. DNN, on paper, isn’t too different, in the sense that it’s social and involves some unique ways in how the news is created and disseminated on the platform.”
The core purpose of DNN is to provide truly factual news that is curated, and most importantly, moderated by the community. Each piece of news that is published on DNN will have been vetted by a randomly selected group of approved reviewers to ensure that no published work carries strong bias or political agenda, and it is blockchain that allows each user to act independently.
“The underlying tech is certainly something that drew my attention,” said Dondrey Taylor, co-founder of DNN. “I’ve always been a fan of networks in general, especially neural networks. The idea that you could create an incentive-driven, self-operated, and self-maintained network was something I had never seen before in the traditional web or mobile world. Aside from the technology that allows DNN to have an anti-establishment sentiment to it, building a system that empowers people to take part in something that could disrupt an industry or at least trigger a change in the way people think within that industry, greatly intrigued me.”
As an agile distributor of news, DNN has the ability to act as a nimble vessel for nonpartisan information, an advantage not held by the bulky, powerful, and self-interested media organizations.
Find out more about DNN here, and look for the demo to launch in May.