News Corporations is most widely known for their publication, The Wall Street Journal. Last week, News Corp announced they bought Storyful, a self-proclaimed “social news” agency. Storyful watches social media websites for interesting stories, news, videos or information. Once stories are chosen, journalists will work to verify the authenticity of the story or video. Once they are verified, they are then provided to clients all over the world.
News Corp bought Storyful for $25 million. Many feel this purchase reflects the ever changing landscape pf mainstream media. It also reflects the move towards video-based stories. According to Robert Thomson, CEO of News Corp., “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.”
Storyful will maintain its autonomy as an independent division of News Corp. Storyful operates by actively following Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Youtube, Instagram and other social media websites. They also organize stories geographically, so they can target the information that specific clients may be interested in.
Storyful isn’t the only media company in the social media industry. However, they distinguish themselves from the rest with their extensive verification efforts. They have a full team of reporters that work tirelessly to verify the information in stories and videos they are interested in. Other websites like Gawker and Mashable have admitted they do not have the time to verify all the stories they share.
They have also been able to track down social support for breaking news. When they want to cover a breaking news story, they scour social media to find pictures and videos from people who were there in order to get a personalized version of the events.
According to Joshua Benton, director of the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard, “Storyful is the clear leader in a space that’s going to do nothing but grow. However, much demand there is for verification of social media today, it’s going to be bigger tomorrow and bigger again the day after that.”