News Corp to launch a news aggregation service called 'Knewz'
Promises to promote smaller outlets believed to be "demoted" in other aggregation sitesBy David Matthews 11 comments
Why it matters: Many conservatives have long charged Google and Facebook with unfairly demoting conservative news outlets. News Corp aims to fix that by launching its own news aggregation service that promises to highlight stories regardless of political bent.
Rupert Murdoch-owned News Corp is reportedly launching a news aggregation website called "Knewz.com". According to The Wall Street Journal (which is owned by News Corp), this site (and associated mobile app) will be a way to challenge other aggregation sites like Google News and address publisher concerns about Google and Facebook.
While on the surface this appears as a way to provide competition to Google and Facebook, it also appears that this is motivated by concerns that Google and Facebook have not treated all news sources as equal. Particularly that conservative outlets seem to get the short end of the stick when it comes to displaying news. Per the WSJ:
"The project aims to give exposure to smaller outlets that News Corp executives believe are often demoted in Google's search results and Facebook Inc's social feed, the people said."
The charge of bias against conservative news and thought has been an ongoing battle, particularly when it comes to Google and social media sites. President Trump and other prominent conservatives have long castigated Google for what they perceive as rigged reporting. However, the Economist did a year-long study in which it found no evidence of conservative bias in Google News. In fact, Google tended to prefer more reputable, less ideological news sources.
....results on "Trump News" are from National Left-Wing Media, very dangerous. Google & others are suppressing voices of Conservatives and hiding information and news that is good. They are controlling what we can & cannot see. This is a very serious situation-will be addressed!--- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 28, 2018
As far as what Knewz will actually offer, the site will include national and local outlets, digital publications, and magazines. There will apparently be hundreds of directly-linked sources with Knewz taking no cut of the advertising revenue. News will be curated using a mixture of algorithms and human curation with equal weight being given to free and paywalled articles.
News Corp will probably have no problem convincing publications to sign on to Knewz given their clout in the news industry. Being able to keep 100% of the advertising revenue could be very attractive for some outlets. Also, from a competition point of view, having another competitor in the news aggregation space is needed.
The primary issue that Knewz will face is not recruiting publications, but readers. People use Google and Facebook every day and naturally see news stories as they browse the sites. It may be hard to convince people to check a dedicated news app when they can simply get all of their news from social media or a simple Google search.
For now, this venture is more of an "exploration" and isn't guaranteed to actually launch according to a spokesperson. The actual Knewz site does exist but only displays a placeholder.