Local Press Co: App that Empowers People to Report News


What is Local Press Co?

Local Press Co news app not only allows users to follow news, but also allows its users to report news. The app focuses on hyperlocal & mobile-first approach allowing users to report news within seconds. All it takes is a headline, image, category & location. Once added, news stories are served to relevant users based on their location and radius preferences.

The Mumbai based startup was founded in January 2015 by Punit Rajpal. The power to validate news is also vested with the users. The ‘vouch’ & ‘dismiss’ actions directly impact the credibility of a news report & its reporter. Other than validating, users can also comment, share & subscribe to news reports. The startup is also working towards building a platform where people can report news that is relevant, missed by conventional media, doesn’t suffer from media bias and has zero dependency on social connections.

How does it work?

Its crowdsourcing approach allows news to be reported as it breaks. Further, user validation allows for higher accuracy than news posted on social media, also mobile-first approach combined with the use of location services allows users to have access to local news from any area within the city. It is a free app with no ads or in-app purchases. The app is available for both Android and iOS users.

Here’s a how it all comes together on the app:

Step – 1: Individuals report local news as it breaks.

Step – 2: Local Press Co serves these news stories to nearby users.

Step – 3: Users use ‘vouch’ & ‘dismiss’ actions to validate accuracy.

What problem is the app solving?

More often than not, the coverage of local or neighbourhood news is scarce due to lack of relevance to the masses. Local stories like accidents, robberies, fires etc. have a greater possibility of featuring on your social media feed than traditional news outlets. In either case, the news seldom reaches the right user because the traditional media rarely features it and social media makes it impossible to segregate news from the never ending flow of content. Local Press Co is trying to addresses this problem. It is trying to make reporting news easy, wrap it in a neat package and serve news to relevant users.

What are the key services or features of your venture?

Easy Reporting – Users can report news within seconds – all it takes is a headline, image, category & location.

Location Radius – The radius can be altered in order for the news received to be ‘more’ or ‘less’ local.

News Verification – App allows its users to ‘Vouch’ or ‘Dismiss’ the news in order to validate the reported news stories.

Battery Saver – You can continue receiving news updates from your default location even when location services are turned off.

Trust Score – Active reporters are assigned a trust score based on accuracy of news being reported.

Filter Content – You can decide which categories interest you and only get news from only those personalized blocks.

Report & Share – The news can simultaneously be posted on Twitter & Facebook.


How is it different?

It has a crowdsourcing model of reporting and sharing local news. The apps competitors can be classified as validated news outlets (e.g. newspapers, TV channels) and unvalidated news outlets (e.g. Social Media). News outlets mostly rely on their reporters which limit their reach and make it impossible to cover most local news. Unvalidated news outlets, such as Social Media, on the other have a huge advantage in terms of user base and ongoing engagement. But, local news isn’t always reported by a trustworthy social connection.

Present and Future:

The company is a bootstrapped mode but has plans of raising funds. The app was launched on 15th June 2015. Within 3 weeks of launch, it crossed 1000 users and has over 1000 news reports.

Monetization: Presently, the startup is focussing at acquiring users. In future however, it has plans of monetizing by launching a local ad platform.

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