New web service to connect journalists with sources

SAN FRANCISCO: Newly launched web service NewsBasis aims to streamline the reporting process for journalists and enhance media opportunities for PR pros and organizations.

SAN FRANCISCO: Newly launched web service NewsBasis aims to streamline the reporting process for journalists and enhance media opportunities for PR pros and organizations.

Founded by Darryl Siry, a freelance tech journalist and former marketing executive at electric car maker Tesla motors from 2005 to 2008, the service intends to aid reporters looking for expert sources and organizations and businesses to media prospects. The web platform catalogs stories where users can embed their own insights, and reporters can post queries to elicit responses from users.

Armed with $545,000 in private angel and personal funds, Siry intends to eventually build a platform where users can respond and engage each other in real time, but for now he emphasizes the site is a work in progress. As the platform evolves, he intends to market the service to for-profit organizations, though journalists will get access for free.

“I want this to be the system of record for the media relations industry,” Siry said.

Similar services include PR Newswire's Profnet, which connects journalists to PR pros, and Help A Reporter Out, a free online service acquired by public relations software provider Vocus in June that connects small business to PR pros, bloggers and journalists. Neither considers NewsBasis a direct competitor.

“It's a new way to pitch that's not intrusive,” said Ken Dowell, EVP of social media and audience development at PR Newswire. “We are pre-publication.”

Yet, these online services reflect titanic changes in the media relations and PR industry as journalists look to the Internet and social media for research and stories, Siry said.

“There is a fundamental business design problem in the media relations industry,” Siry said. “The traditional methods of pitching are not aligned with how journalists work.”

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