Sinclair launches Circa Campus in expansion of user-generated content biz

Circa Campus video from Temple University. Screenshot: Circa

Sinclair Broadcast-owned Circa has launched Circa Campus as a user-generated content platform for college students.

The UGC portal will allow students covering news on their college campuses to upload videos, according to a news release. Circa is partnering with student groups like GenFKD, or Generation Financial Knowledge Development, a higher education reform organization, to train and recruit citizen journalists on capturing the most responsible and compelling video news content.

"We're excited to continue amplifying student voices from across the country,” said Justin Dent, co-founder and executive director of GenFKD, in a statement.

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The expansion of Circa comes about one year after Sinclair announced it was relaunching the platform and bringing on John Solomon as chief creative officer. The company bought Circa in 2015 for $800,000.

“Delivering original news content on mobile platforms is becoming increasingly important, especially in engaging the next generation of news readers who value raw content, differing perspectives and personalization,” said Solomon in a statement. “Circa’s focus will be on issues trending from around the country, delivered in an independent-minded style, with a heavy focus on short and long form video, optimized for mobile and social media engagement.”

“As the largest producer of local news content in the country, our mission is to build on the legitimate news enterprise we have created, evolve how we connect with consumers and address changing news consumption habits,” said then-CEO David Smith, in a statement. “John, an award-winning journalist with an extensive history in news reporting, editorial and management positions, is the most qualified to lead this initiative, and we are thrilled to have his vote of confidence in our strategy by overseeing the venture.”