Our group started off our brainstorming process by listing problems we see in the news business. We then began thinking of solutions for those problems. The problem we discussed in length was media literacy. The successful rise of disinformation is in large part due to the public’s lacking media literacy skills. Many peoples struggle to fact check on their own or distinguish reliable sources from ones that are not. A second component of media literacy is simply exposure to news. The more news you consume, the more likely you are to know what outlets are reputable, what information is likely accurate, and how to seek out information independently. A lot of youth don’t read the news and are not required to do so in school. We decided to focus on this problem specifically for our project.
Our target audience for our product will be children ages six to 13. We want to introduce children to the news at a young age so that they can grow up to become news-savvy adults. If children get in the habit of following the news, then they are more likely to become high-information adults who are less likely to be duped by questionable sites and anonymous memes. We will be working on developing a platform that takes the news and delivers it in multiple formats at various comprehension levels. This platform would be valuable to news organizations because by the time children using the app are adults, they will be more likely to be invested in journalism and support media organizations with subscriptions. We will look into potentially partnering with news organizations to deliver this content.
Our platform will likely stream videos to provide a visual aspect to the platform, especially since young children often require more stimulation to maintain their attention. Additionally, since reading abilities are limited at a young age, a visual component would be necessary. We would also like to integrate a voice user interface for games that test children’s knowledge on the news.
This product will be subscription-based. As we continue to develop our product, we will need to decide whether there will be using a freemium model, where a version of the app is available free of charge and additional features are provided for paid subscribers.