The Dot’s founders, Barry Pace and Fred Rivett, started the company to address the deep disconnect between news providers and readers. Believing that the news was slowly dying, with most readers passively reading news stories from platforms like Facebook and Twitter, they set out to figure out what to do about it.
They came up with a vision: To create a headline news app where younger generations could engage with meaningful news and current events, to promote and enrich civic engagement to higher levels than ever before.
Why it matters:
With fewer people seeking out real news stories and the high distrust of the media today, Pace and Rivett felt that news providers are too important to let that trend continue. They learned that people between the ages of 18–24 generally have much ‘fresher’ habits when it comes to consuming news, and tend to be heavily influenced by social media.
People are also overwhelmed by the vast amount of news — and at the same time, they typically consume news while multi-tasking other things, all in an environment where competition is fierce.
The Dot launched as an early access release of a minimal U.K. news headline app, and is being used as a base to test editorial and product ideas over the coming months. It aims to straddle that line of keeping people up to date on important news events, while being careful not to overwhelm them with too much.
- The Dot is a response to the feeling readers get when they mindlessly scroll through newsfeeds, feeling overwhelmed and underinformed at the same time.
- Its short digest format gives readers a sense of completeness in news consumption, rather than being inundated with a “stream of consciousness from every journalist on the planet.”
- The Dot addresses the correlation of the inaccessibility to trustworthy hard news, and readers’ superficial relationships with news publishers.
Pace embraces the power of mental representations in helping people process and retain information, and the team plans to bring that into storytelling the news on The Dot. They are taking small steps in that direction by introducing questions as part of news coverage, allowing users to contribute via small interactions.
You can sign up to get instant access to The Dot iOS app here.