Knight Blog

The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Turning online news into 'TV'

Feb. 19, 2013, 7:50 a.m., Posted by Freddie Laker

Knight recently announced its support for Guide, a new Miami-based tech startup. Below, the company's CEO and founder Freddie Laker writes about how its platform gives all publishers - from bloggers to large news companies - the ability to offer their audiences a video experience. Guide is currently demoing at SXSW in Austin, Texas. 

Early this month, I shared with the world what I had been working on with my team for the last six months: Guide. Located in Midtown Miami – just a few miles from Knight Foundation’s headquarters – Guide is an app that transforms online news and social feeds into a video and audio experience by leveraging the latest in avatar and text-to-speech technologies.

And if our headquarters are close to Knight’s (Google Maps estimates an eight minute drive), our missions are even closer. At Guide, we are passionate about giving people the content they want in the format they love. At Knight, they are focused on promoting quality journalism, advancing media innovation, engaging communities and fostering the arts.

With these alignments in mind, we could not be happier to share the news that Knight Foundation, the leading funder of journalism and media innovation, is supporting Guide through its new early-stage venture fund, the Knight Enterprise Fund.

We also want to share our long-term vision and boldly state: We believe we will be able make Guide near indiscernible from traditional TV broadcasts in three years. Our ambitions are part visual Siri, part HAL9000, part Total Recall, part Minority Report and part Iron Man’s JARVIS.

The benefits of using Guide have a clear and direct impact on a wide range of people that consume online news from the passionate news junkie to the underserved. In addition to serving consumers, Guide also presents the potential to be a powerful tool for journalists to rapidly produce video-quality experiences. 

By Freddie Laker, CEO and founder of Guide