By Robin Rotfleisch
Israel News Agency
New York ----- May 26, 2008 ....... The United States News Agency, an on-line, non-profit, non-governmental news site has begun operations as it begins its search for both professional editors and reporters in the US.
"The Internet has thousands of sources for news but very few of them were created for the Web," said United States News Agency publisher Joel Leyden. Leyden has worked as a journalist, international media consultant and Internet SEO Web 2.0 pioneer for 25 years. He is credited for co-creating Israel's first commercial Website and for establishing Israel's first on-line, government accredited news organization, the Israel News Agency, in 1995.
"At first, we will recruit volunteers to edit and report both hard news and feature news stories coming from the 50 states. Wikipedia has proven that a volunteer effort can work. Where Wikipedia failed, is that they allow their users to edit anonymously, without even knowing who their user editors and administrators are and where they come from. That leads to political and personal agendas packed with often unchecked slander and libel."
Many prominent and ordinary citizens and organizations have been hurt through Wikipedia negligence including USA Today Senior Editor John Seigenthaler who was reported by Wikipedia as being behind the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and his brother, Robert F. Kennedy.
Recently, Wikipedia through an expose by The New Yorker found out that one of their senior editors, Essjay, who claimed to be a tenured professor of religion at a private university and held a doctorate was actually an unemployed 24-year-old student who never finished college. Essjay was even hired by Wikia, which is funded by investors Amazon.com and Omidyar Network. Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales even defended the fraud, stating that "EssJay has always been, and still is, a fantastic editor and trusted member of the community. He has been thoughtful and contrite about the entire matter, and I consider it settled.
The United States News Agency will enjoy full and complete transparency, accountability and objectivity as all news reports will first go through a professional, paid editorial board before being uploaded on-line."
Leyden says that the United States News Agency will become mostly professional in the coming months employing many of their volunteer editorial staff. At the same time, the USNA will keep on staff both a large core of volunteers and interns to keep operational costs low and reporting quality high and objective.
"The United States News Agency will use an abundance of Web 2.0 social networking tools including video and VOIP, encouraging our reporters to use their video phone cameras to file reports. We will employ RSS feeds, blogs, mobile Internet applications and all of the tools of Web 2.0 to make this happen. Unlike other news media outlets on the Net, we are not a news organization trying to adapt to the Internet but rather a news organization born from the Internet using search engine optimization (SEO) for all of our content. That may slightly change the English language, but not the substance of our news reports. USNA news and feature stories will be found and indexed quickly by all major search engines and placed in a high position. And that is what the consumer is seeking fast, objective and accurate news reporting that they can find in their homes, in their offices and on their telephones."
The United States News Agency has stated that they have entered talks with and look forward to professional associations with Google News, Twitter, DIGG, Del.icio.us, Facebook, Yahoo, Friendster, MySpace, YouTube, Blogger, LinkedIn and other Web 2.0 applications and news aggregators in our efforts to provide accurate, real time local and global news reports."
Leyden says that the site will be user friendly There will be no annoying pop-up advertising banner ads or contextual advertising but rather clean static banners, free of animated Flash with regular links posted nearby in the same manner for which Google operates.
The United States News Agency will incorporate several news and feature departments dedicated to news, features, politics, security, sports, health, food, real estate, opinion, business, travel, nature, green, movies, multimedia, economy, music, entertainment, dating, cars, high schools, universities and employment.
The United States News Agency is seeking to hire professional editors and reporters who have at least 5 years experience in print, broadcast and or Internet journalism. They are also inviting investors and venture capital firms to contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The United States News Agency was born this week as a Web 2.0 blog at: unitedstatesnewsagency.blogspot.com
and advertising within Facebook. The news content site will be delivered from both from a blog and from a conventional Website to be located at www.unitedstatesnewsagency.com.
The United States News Agency is planning on opening news bureaus in New York, Washington, Chicago and Los Angeles with overseas offices in London, Paris, Madrid, Rome, Moscow, Turkey, Jordan, Israel, Egypt, Japan, Kuwait, Iraq and China.
"The United States News Agency is being launched on Memorial Day in honor of the many men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice to defend the United States and protect our basic democratic values," says Leyden. "The USNA is pro USA, pro democracy and pro Internet Web 2.0." (Source)