The news business has always revolved around scooping the competition – beating everyone else to the punch with an explosive story of paramount interest to readers. In the digital age, this model has gone into overdrive, with many outlets publishing whatever they believe will get the most clicks and hence the most advertising dollars. With advertising revenues falling and subscription news services floundering, the pressure to publish stories based on how many clicks they may receive is intense. In some cases, this has led to the dissemination of stories that have not been properly vetted.
The co-founders of Rantt, a digital news publication that came online in November, 2016, are on a mission to take a more holistic approach to the news. Often, when organizations are rushing to be among the first to report a given story, mistakes can be made. These mistakes are then compounded because, even in the digital world, readers tend not to pay as much attention to the corrections of those mistakes. Not only does this look sloppy from a journalistic point of view, it can leave readers who don’t stick around for the corrections with erroneous impressions of that particular story.
Zak Ali, one of the four co-founders of Rantt, says American media history is replete with episodes in which the media has jumped the gun on what they thought was a particularly juicy story and ended up doing a disservice to the general public. An irresponsibly reported story can do considerable damage to the public as it can give the distorted view of the particular situation shaking the basis of the democratic principles.
“We’re taking an episodic approach to covering stories, and pride ourselves on slowing down the news. We want to be the opposite of everything we see wrong with the news media: sensationalism, misleading clickbait, headline sharing, etc.,” Ali said. “Also, we feel like a voice for the disenfranchised population who feel let down by the mainstream media. Rantt will be the first episodic news source that people turn towards to get the full truth the first time.”
The online publication is off to a good start in that regard, reporting over 100,000 monthly unique visitors across multiple distribution platforms and reaching millions through social media.
With the increase in “fake news” flooding the internet, it has become more important than ever for consumers to be able to turn to sources they can trust to help separate fact from fiction. Rantt is attempting to carve out a niche for itself as a place where consumers can find unrushed, well-documented news stories written by contributors who go the extra mile to get their facts right the first time – even if it means they may not be the first to publish. If successful, the company could turn the current news paradigm on its head, which would bode well for those who would like to see the world become more informed regarding current events.
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