In a move highlighting the prominent role that user-generated news and video are expected to play in the future of journalism, News Corp., owner of The Wall Street Journal, announced Friday that it had bought Storyful, a company that bills itself as the world’s first social news agency.
Storyful distinguishes itself from other news outlets that rely on social media for their stories by trumpeting its commitment to verification. The company trolls websites like Instagram and YouTube for interesting but not widely publicized material, uses journalists to verify its authenticity and brings it to the attention of its clients. It makes money by sharing in the revenue from the advertising it generates.
Although the purchase price is only $25 million, the deal illustrates how mainstream newsrooms are transforming themselves in the age of social media. It also reflects the company’s eagerness to expand its video presence.
“Video is a vocation for the new News, which will combine with Storyful to reach a growing global audience, enhancing our own editorial products and creating new content communities,” said Robert Thomson, chief executive of News Corp.
Storyful, which is based in Dublin, is the first acquisition for News Corp. since it spun off its cable and film properties in July as 21st Century Fox.