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NewsCorp acquires Irish social news firm

Graeme Parton

Rupert Murdoch’s media empire, NewsCorp, has purchased a Dublin-based “social news agency” in a deal thought to be worth around  £15 million, it has emerged.

The acquisition of Storyful is NewsCorp’s first since its separation from 21st Century Fox earlier this year. Using a mix of journalistic tools and new technology, the company – which is five years old – finds, verifies and presents user-generated video and news content for its users and partners.

According to the NewsCorp-owned Wall Street Journal, the firm also offers real-time distribution tools, social network dashboards, analytics and live feeds to its customers. The idea is that partners are able to monitor social media conversations while also integrating video content into their advertising and news efforts.

A spokesperson from NewsCorp explained that in the last 12 months, Storyful’s user-generated content has attracted more than 700 million hits for the agency’s partners. The company will remain in Dublin, operating independently from its new owner, which also counts The Time and The Sun among its outlets.

Robert Thomson, who is NewsCorp’s CEO, said:

“We’ve entered an era in which user-generated content must be verified if it’s to be trusted, and that’s precisely what Storyful does best.”

Thomson went on to say that the new purchase has digital and global significance for NewsCorp, and suggested that it will be used to improve the media giant’s video capabilities.

Storyful will continue to operate under the guidance of current CEO Mark Little and David Clinch, the firm’s executive editor. NewsCorp’s video output vice president, Rahul Chopra, will be joining the pair as CRO.

Speaking about the developments, Little said that the partnership would help Storyful to transform its visions into realities. He also claimed that his firm would like to be a part of reinventing the news arena.

Graeme has experience creating content for online sources and for the radio, and at university he studied Multimedia Journalism.

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