Rep. Jim Cooper, D-Tenn., believes government shortcomings and a concerned print news industry will soon be transformed into something more efficient.
“Our newspapers are dying. Dead tree products like this are having a hard time economically. The business model is not working and it needs to be replaced with something like iCitizen so that people can get the news they need,” said Cooper at launch party for the new iCitizen app.
iCitizen combines data from a variety of news sources to inform users on issues, legislation and how to correspond with public officials.
A number of Nashville health care professionals, members and former members, including former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., rallied support for the product debut at the Ronald Reagan Building Pavilion on Tuesday night.
Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn, another Tennessean, talked about the frustrations she has heard from constituents about the lack of reporting on select issues, but also noted the importance of community papers.
“I find it very interesting in my district, community newspapers that are specific to one area are very popular,” Blackburn said.
Interesting, too, that iCitizen relies on many "dying" organizations to provide news to users.
CEO Rod Massey listed the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and Tennessee Tribune as examples of sources for iCitizen’s 8,900 separate data feeds.
“We’re just in our infancy as far as the sources we’re incorporating. ... As we integrate more diverse sources, I absolutely see us bringing that from a variety of different venues,” Massey said.