DNN: The ICO looking to fix the news
The news media is in crisis, with falling revenues, lower public trust and declining morale. According to a Gallup poll in 2016, the American public’s confidence in mass media to “report the news fully, accurately and fairly” has reached a historic low point. Only 32% of respondents reported feeling a great or fair amount of trust in the media.
The situation is now so bad that Collins Dictionary chose “fake news”, defined as “false, often sensational, information disseminated under the guise of news reporting,” as its word of the year for 2017.
This erosion of confidence has profound consequences for our democracies and public institutions. The writer G.K. Chesterton said that when men “choose not to believe in God, they do not thereafter believe in nothing, they then become capable of believing in anything.” The same might be said of losing faith in public information.
Clearly a new model is needed to restore the public’s faith in unbiased and accurate reporting. DNN, the Decentralized News Network, is building a solution to re-empower news media, and re-energise our public debate.
The News is Broken
DNN likens the U.S. media landscape to the country’s telecom and cable industries. There is “little-to-no regulation or transparency” while a few enormous corporations have turned the market into an oligopoly, squeezing out choice for consumers. Furthermore, those corporations are “motivated by overt political agendas which erode public trust.”
The increasing concentration of media power in the hands of a few players can be seen in the startling decline of smaller organisations in U.S. news. In 1983 50 different companies accounted for 90% of news coverage. That has now plummeted to just six conglomerates: Comcast, News Corp, Walt Disney, Viacom, Time Warner and CBS.
Though the internet has allowed anyone to express and publish content ignored by the big six, it has also blurred the lines between fact and fiction. It is increasingly difficult to distinguish what is relevant, what is unbiased, and what is true.
The Decentralized News Network
DNN’s mission is to “create news content that is both empowering for our readers, as well as representative of the integrity of our writers.” The benefits of the platform “extend to news consumption, news creation, and fact-checking.”
Using the Ethereum blockchain means that DNN’s infrastructure does not have a single failure point, making it resistant to government censors and creating an infrastructure “that is virtually impossible to infiltrate or take down.”
DNN is open to submissions from any writer. This content is then appraised for accuracy by a team of anonymous reviewers. Stories which pass this stage will be published to the viewing public. Thanks to the use of blockchain there is no risk that the stories will be taken down due to pressure from powerful interest groups.
The platform is therefore free to present accurate information, free of the “corrupt incentives or hidden agendas, which plague most news corporations.”
Readers will receive a more balanced, less censored news picture, as well as having greater confidence in what they read. Writers will have more control over their work and publications and news agencies can take advantage of “an additional layer of fact-checking for their content.”
The ecosystem is powered by the DNN token. Writers earn DNN for their work, reviewers are paid in DNN, and readers can add to their DNN balances by suggesting articles or spotting inaccuracies.
The Distributed News Network ICO is currently in private pre-sale. The date of its public sale will be announced this week.
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