$1 raised out of $305,600

Meet CHARLIE: empowering local citizens to report on their news events, curated by Journalists, then delivered to Connected Television.


City News Beat is an early stage company committed to streaming local news stories with more facts, less commentary. We have formed our own technologies to help us identify, source and stream the days news in a few select cities until we can afford to grow into every US city.  To do this in a responsible manner we are asking local citizens to help us capture local video by using our soon to be released mobile app, “Citizen CHARLIE”.

When our producers identify a local story, they create an assignment to send to users of our mobile app. A trained journalist is assigned to also research facts, write, voice and prepare graphics for each video story, local citizens submit video via Citizen CHARLIE for consideration of use in the story. When we use a citizen’s video, we pay them a small Rights fee to stream the story to our Roku, Amazon Fire TV and in some markets our Apple TV apps. To see a current list of City News Beat markets please check your connected TV device’s Channel or App store.

We see the news as so much more than Death, Mayhem and Destruction stories.  It’s the local pursuit of goals, challenges, rewards, pleasures and pains.  It is why a traffic jam occurred and what happened in the High School sports game. However ugly events do happen and yes we report on them. For example in Dallas, one of our citizens Charlie’d a  shooting @DFW by Airport officials. We presented the story with the video and the facts of the situation that were made available. 

We are lead by the former employees of local Broadcast Television companies who understand what drives the TV news ecosystem.  Having worked within the highest level of these organizations, we’ve been exposed to their priorities and believe they have lost their way. Broadcast News began as a community service – a responsibility and duty in exchange for access to the public. Our editorial mission at City News Beat is to report on community news through curated Citizen Journalism. 

Pew Research suggests people will trust a TV station more, when more of their reporters participate in the community – a local citizen. The view of community through the lens of its Citizens is perhaps the most important, but there’s a daily firehose of content to sift through that must be curated by trained Journalists or its just a Social Media news feed.  City News Beat begins with data on trending topics local people care about, then we pair citizen video with trained Journalists to redefine Citizen Journalism for all stakeholders, together. 

Thanks to help from The University of North Carolina, Duke University and North Carolina State University we have launched our start-up and have 13 connected television applications on 3 Connected Television platforms including Roku, Fire TV and Apple TV.  Our mobile app is the former Fresco News app which is currently being redeveloped with help from UNC’s Advanced Computer Science class.  We have already applied our own capital to developing all other software platforms and Amazon’s AWS has donated enough storage space to run our project’s applications and store the video stories they stream.  Now we must populate our applications with audiences and that requires content which is where you come in. 

The money we raise here goes directly into the Journalism created by enabling us to pay Freelance Journalists and UNC Journalism Graduate students for their writing, research and editing. Your gift also helps City News Beat hire our staff Video Editors who edit into an engaging stream of authentic City News Beat stories. Below is a small teaser for an Investigative Journalism piece we completed with a Graduate student and a local citizen with an iPhone video camera.

In short, your commitment to our project funds Citizen Journalism at scale across 5 American cities.  As a Thank you gift for those who can contribute $100 or more, we’ve connected with a local Tee Shirt company to send you a limited edition DARE TO BE DIFFERENT T-Shirt.  Pics of those to come!