Information is the currency of democracy (shoutout to Ralph Nader for that quote). But information does not work without trust.
We choose not to investigate every piece of news ourselves. Realistically, we can’t. Continually fact-checking and vetting the news we receive would be exhausting. Instead, we’ve placed our trust in authoritative sources to do it for us.
Well, good thing as a society we trust news sources! Oh wait… we don’t.
And that reliance on the media to deliver trustworthy information has revealed itself as a newly dangerous vulnerability now that the sheer number of sources is overwhelming.
So to recap: We’re living in a time where historic levels of distrust in news are colliding head-0n with the greatest need for trustworthy sources I’ve seen in my lifetime.
Our entire democratic system could collapse if we don’t solve this problem.
So, we’re doing something about it.
We are building a news platform based on trust. A place that makes it easy to discover intellectually honest sources. People who aren’t driven by profit or clicks, but who genuinely want to deepen the public’s understanding of the issues this new administration will be grappling with.
I started covering the election via text message in November 2015. Originally my first 200 subscribers (give or take) were people I knew. They trusted me because they knew me, my knowledge level, and my passion for educating others about politics in a balanced way (as much as is humanly possible).
But then my channel started to grow. And all of a sudden I had 8,000 subscribers. The interesting thing? I developed the same bonds of trust with many of those individuals. People I had never met before in my life.
I was able to do this by using Messenger how I use it with my friends: as a facilitator of conversation, not straight link distribution. I did this by focusing solely on informing my subscribers. Answering questions about politics that were sent to me. Making sure I was curating accurate information that deepened their understanding of a topic. And actually listening to them.
I started wondering, why couldn’t I interact with my favorite sources like that? Why is there such a disconnect between most journalists or experts and the people who want to learn from them or follow their coverage? There doesn’t have to be, and in my own experience when you break down the wall that separates the public from the arbiters of information, amazing things can happen.
Breaking down the wall
So, we’re taking a digital sledge-hammer to that wall. Our team is now aggregating an exclusive network of writers on Purple who cover all of the issues the Trump Administration will be dealing with. We’re talkin’ healthcare reform, trade, education, climate change, women’s reproductive rights, immigration, etc.
Each writer or expert invited onto Purple fits the following criteria:
- They are highly knowledgeable on the topic they’re covering. Many are academics, researchers, and subject-matter-experts.
- They are genuinely driven to deepen their audience’s understanding of the topic.
- They display relevant facts even when it contradicts their argument.
- Their personal beliefs don’t interfere with their pursuit of the truth.
In other words, they’re trustworthy. They’re the signals in the noise you can rely on to keep you informed.
As my journalism school professor Jeff Jarvis writes in Geeks Bearing Gifts, content is that which fills something. Service is that which accomplishes something.
Writers on Purple are driven to serve their audience, rather than just create content.
If you are an expert or writer and feel like I just described you, then hit me up! We want to hear from you.
Join the conversation
The new platform will launch very soon. If you want to be notified when it rolls out, and join the conversation on creating a better informed electorate, sign up for our email list here.
Let’s do this people!