Skip navigation

media outlets

warning: Creating default object from empty value in /var/www/vhosts/ on line 33.

shafqat islam

Content marketing is one of the biggest new trends for companies. Businesses are bringing customers closer by building their own content, or getting it from elsewhere. 

One of the biggest new players in the market is New York startup NewsCred.

The company takes content from media outlets like Bloomberg, The Economist, and The Guardian, and brings it to third parties, taking care of all of the licensing and legal issues along the way.

At first their business was primarily with publishers, but increasingly, the company's focus is on putting together customized content for huge brands like Pepsi, Johnson & Johnson, and Orange Telecom.  

Pepsi, for example, uses entertainment and music content on its consumer facing home page. 

NewsCred's CEO and founder Shafqat Islam has huge hopes for that business, telling Business Insider that "every Fortune 2000 company today is a candidate for content marketing. If they're not doing it, they will be, and we want to be in every single brand."

Even though their focus is changing, Islam told us how being in the wrong business at first helped the company build content and technology that make it dominant in a space that didn't exist a few years ago.  

"It's interesting, we were actually a consumer-facing news site, this was back in the day when Digg and Reddit were really popular. We thought we could take our own angle on this by focusing on quality and not popularity, giving users a tool to vote, to rate, comment on the quality of news so we could focus on high quality journalism.

We very quickly realized that that wasn't really a business, it was really a project or a non-profit. But while doing that, we had built out some pretty interesting technology for our site. When we tried to license content, it was a very painful experience. It was either very expensive or when people would deliver content to us, they'd FCP us 5,000 articles and expect us to kind of trawl through it and figure out what to publish.

Also, the content in itself wasn't that interesting, there was not that much diversity in terms of what our options were for licensing, so we said, why don't we just solve the problem and really innovate and kind of disrupt this syndication space? That's kind of how we got into this current business. Initially we were selling mainly to publishers, and then over the last year, year and half we realized the brand space has really taken off, and that's when we really started focusing more and more on brands."

Islam didn't give up when it became clear his first idea wouldn't work. Instead, he saw a new problem and changed the company to address it. Even their second focus, selling to publishers, wasn't quite right. "It's really hard, and it's really slow, and it's hard to extract kind of a lot of dollars because newsroom budgets are shrinking," Islam says.

But by building a massive library of content, a tough task that took years, the company put itself in the right place at exactly the right time to take advantage of brand's adoption of content and disrupt both the syndication and content marketing industries. 

It's another reminder of two of the most important lessons for startups, the importance of timing, and the fact that some of the best businesses and lessons come after initial setbacks.

NOW READ: Big Brands Are Pouring Money Into Their Own Custom News Sites

Please follow War Room on Twitter and Facebook.

Join the conversation about this story »

Your rating: None

Israeli airstrikes began November 14, following months of Palestinian rocket fire into Israel. Monday, the top leader of Hamas dared Israel to launch a ground invasion of Gaza and dismissed diplomatic efforts to broker a cease-fire in the six-day-old conflict, as the Israeli military conducted a new wave of deadly airstrikes which included a second hit on a 15-story building that houses media outlets. What follows is just a small collection of images from the last few days of the conflict. – Paula Nelson ( 34 photos total)
A Palestinian firefighter tries to extinguish a fire after an Israeli air strike, on a floor in a building that also houses international media offices in Gaza City, November 19, 2012. (Suhaib Salem/Reuters)

Add to Facebook
Add to Twitter
Add to digg
Add to StumbleUpon
Add to Reddit
Add to
Email this Article

Your rating: None

[Jovan Johnson, a California attorney and partner at Johnson & amp; Moo, examines the important legal issues that may arise when you sign your mobile game up with a publisher for distribution, and explains how you can take steps to insulate yourself from negative outcomes.] You're a developer with a fun game and a publisher is showing interest. You presume this publisher knows the market's pulse and has resources you don't. Signing a publishing agreement ...

Your rating: None


Dataminr is an analytics company that draws trends from social networks for various business clients, and today it revealed a partnership with Twitter that grants it access to over 340 million tweets a day — data points that will be used to create what the company calls "one of the earliest warning systems for breaking news and emerging events." The company claimed last year that the technology had relayed news of Osama Bin Laden's death to its clients before the story had been reported by major media outlets. The use of Twitter for breaking news in recent years has grown both for firsthand users of the service and even for general audiences through broadcast outlets like CNN — and Dataminr joins other companies already using big...

Continue reading…

Your rating: None

The release of two very different games in the last month, Asura's Wrath and Dear Esther, has sparked up one of gaming's evergreen topics: what is and what isn't a game? More than just a question of semantics, it's a pernicious and pervasive poser that can lead to all kinds of nastiness.

Take as an example the recent furore centred on Jennifer Hepler, a Bioware employee who made a remark in 2006 to the effect that games should cater to players who want to skip action sequences. Pretty reasonable, right? After all, L.A. Noire did it last year - letting players skip action sections they'd failed three times.

Hepler's comment was dug up and posted on reddit a few weeks ago, under the title 'This women [sic] is the cancer killing Bioware' and all sorts of horror followed - I'm not going to rake over the coals of that, but Kotaku's report is interesting both for the content and comments. Hepler's mistake was twofold: being a woman, and being right.

Read more…

Your rating: None

by Kainaz Amaria

There have been countless accounts of violence recorded during the uprisings in Egypt, but the image that perhaps has captured the most attention is the most recent. The image has been widely referred to as the "girl in the blue bra."

A veiled young woman is dragged and beaten by Egyptian military during a protest in Cairo's Tahrir Square. Her face is covered. Her torso is bare, except for her bright-blue bra; she's a millisecond away from being kicked by a solider.

The image quickly became a visual symbol of abuse of power by the Egyptian military. It also became the rallying cry for several thousand Egyptian women who marched in the country's capital on Tuesday demanding the end of military rule.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a recent speech at Georgetown University that the image showed the "systematic degradation of Egyptian women [which] dishonors the revolution, disgraces the state and its uniform, and is not worthy of a great people."

In response to Clinton's condemnation, Egypt's state Middle East News Agency quoted Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr as saying Egypt would not accept any interference in its internal affairs on the way security forces dealt with female protesters. And today there are reports that Kamal al-Ganzouri, Egypt's military-appointed prime minister, has called for a national dialogue to resolve the country's crisis and for a two-month calm to restore safety.

While images and stories of women's-rights abuses are not hard to find, Kenny Irby, senior faculty for visual journalism at the Poynter Institute, says the image has become an icon for the sexist and brutal use of military power because "the frame captures the horror of excessive abuse which has elevated its status."

But beyond the brutality, Irby says, "it has an aesthetic punctuation that is the blue bra."

"It has the clear suppression of female rights but also has the visual stamp which has historically been part of women's liberation protests [in America]."

Canada's National Post reported Egyptian blogger Fatenn Mostafa tweeting, "The blue bra is unforgettable and we all become 'the blue bra' girl one way or another."

Irby points out another important factor — the fact that the image is not a still frame captured by a camera but a frame grab from amateur video footage.

Russia Today/YouTube

"We are at the point where consumers of information are not vetting the fact that it is a video or a still," Irby said. He adds that in today's fast-paced media cycle, "the masses would rather have the image and then later vet the credibility."

The veracity of this video's content cannot be denied, however, and Irby notes that the frequency of media outlets' proliferating images and video created not by professional journalists but by "authentic witnesses" is higher than at any point in history.

"This image now has the potential to impact national policy, and that has been one of the major attributes of photojournalism — images that move the hearts and minds of the public and policymakers," he said.

Tags: Egyptian protests, Egypt

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit

Your rating: None