I discovered Circa few months ago, and they quickly become my prime source of news. I start my day every morning with Circa's app ( Vingle comes next), and follow their updates throughout the day. I don't have any other newsreader app installed on my phone.
I think Circa got it right in many aspects of digital journalism. It begins with a beautifully designed user experience, but continues to much more.
In principle, it all comes down to the golden triangle of journalism: engagement, reliably and context. In the digital age, it is more tempting than ever to put the race to be current in the center of journalism, but this is a big mistake. Journalists and editors seem to forget that this is a race long lost. The press was never the fastest way to spread rumors. Instead journalism should focus on providing reliable and context full stories about our reality, in an engaging and interesting way.
So the first thing that Circa do right is that they make sure they got the story well established before they publish it. Then they can tell the story while providing established facts and not guesses and opinions. This means that we as readers are left with the freedom of making out of the story what it means to us - which keeps us involved and engaged. Bringing the stories in this way is both good journalism and a smart business strategy because it make us want to come back and read more.
Another smart choice is the way the stories are organized, with the most essential facts always at the top. In this way the readers always know what a developing story is all about even if they started following it from the middle. Links and references, are also designed to serve the purpose of keeping the story in context. Circa also always make sure to mention and link to their sources.
And finally, of all other things that Circa are doing right, I think worth mentioning, is the fact that they don't allow talkbacks. To me, that seems like an important part of their professional attitude. I believe talkbacks belong to the gossip realm of Facebook, not to news sites.
Circa's website is at http://cir.ca/ . You can follow to download their app from there.