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SpotlightNews Informs Communities, Extends Helping Hand To Small Publishers

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SpotlightNews Informs Communities, Extends Helping Hand To Small Publishers

SpotlightNews, a revolutionary new way to consume trusted content, has rolled out a mobile- and web-friendly application.

As part of the firm’s move from beta, Founder and CEO Tamer Morsy spoke with Benzinga regarding his mission to inform communities about the most important local issues.

What Is SpotlightNews? 

“A reader’s eyes glaze over after they take in a couple of paragraphs about Canadian tariffs or political developments in Pakistan; a story about the reader himself or his neighbors will be read to the end,” Warren Buffett once said

Spotlight is an alternative news source that leverages vetted newsrooms and algorithms to curate feeds of local stories.

“For the first time ever, a student can download Spotlight and subscribe to their college paper, as well as over 100 other college papers across the country,” Morsy said.

The firm has rapidly grown since its inception, onboarding over 100 partners and expanding across the country.

“We started out initially partnering with the Daily Collegian at Penn State and Johns Hopkins. Now, we are signing commercial newsrooms and papers like the Texas Tribune, as well as Thomson Reuters.”

The firm’s intent is two-sided: while educating and informing users about issues relevant to their communities, Spotlight, at no cost, provides small publishers exposure and the ability to present their content on a state-of-the-art desktop and mobile platform.

What Sets SpotlightNews Apart

“The key thing that differentiates us is definitely the markets that we’re serving.”

Incumbent news aggregators, such as Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Alphabet Inc's (NASDAQ: GOOGL) Google News, don't necessarily inform users on issues directly impacting their communities.

“We start on a local and college level because those are like the lifeblood of any community,” Morsy said. “In some cities and towns, the only newspaper source is the college newspaper.”

Spotlight comes at a time when consumers are growing increasingly skeptical of content read online or in social media.

“They’re looking for a trusted news source and now, what you see, is how important local and college papers are. Those are the people on the front lines, holding institutions and different people accountable.”

With the country facing a pandemic, Morsy said users will prefer reading about issues central to their communities.

“CNN or The New York Times, The Washington Post, or even The Wall Street Journal. They do a great job of covering what’s happening nationally, but they’re not going to be focused on what’s happening locally.”

Additionally, the application is publisher friendly, he said.

“We’re really focused on returning revenue back to the publishers. We share 70% of any revenue back to our publishing partners, and we already have our first advertiser, Walt Disney Co (NYSE: DIS).”

Next Steps For SpotlightNews

The firm is preparing for its next round of major financing with the goal of helping struggling newsrooms around the country quickly share the news with communities.

“We’re getting ready to go and look for a major round of financing with potentially a strategic partner or somebody that we see as a natural fit to Spotlight.”

Additionally, Morsy discussed his intentions to further build out the platform, including adding new sources, improving features that recommend content, as well as allowing users to connect over events, jobs and more.

In a statement on growing the Spotlight team and local news publishers, Morsy said: “Individually we’re a little talented, but if you put us all together, hopefully we do something great.”

To learn more about SpotlightNews, please visit spotlightnews.us.

Photo courtesy of SpotlightNews. 

 

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