Nov 3, 2017

Scoop: Steve Brill's new start-up

Mike Allen, author of AM

Founder of American Lawyer Steven Brill in 2001. Photo: Ed Bailey / AP

Steve Brill — founder of American Lawyer, Court TV, Brill's Content, and the Yale Journalism Initiative — has almost finished raising $6 million to launch News Guard, which will rate news content so search and social-media platforms can help their users know what to trust.

Why it matters: Brill has a long track record of successful journalistic start-ups. And he's attacking one of the biggest problems in media today: News consumers have trouble distinguishing between credible content and fake news, and the tech platforms have done little to help them.

Startup details:

Rating will be done by "qualified, accountable human beings," not algorithms.Brill's co-CEO will be Gordon Crovitz, a Wall Street Journal columnist and former publisher of the paper.They'll hire 40-60 journalists, who will be "well-paid."They expect to have a product for U.S. users by mid-2018.The business model: NewsGuard will charge a license fee for platforms and aggregators, who will make it available to users.The company will create brand awareness by giving browser versions free to news literacy groups, school systems, etc.

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