News Corp. closes Knewz aggregator site

News Corp. closes Knewz aggregator site
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Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. has decided to end its news-aggregation service, Knewz, just 18 months after launching it as an alternative to Google and Facebook.

The platform’s website now only contains a statement thanking its readers, adding, “We started Knewz as an experiment in news aggregation because we wanted to gather a diverse range of quality journalism, to highlight all sides of every story and to protect and project provenance.” 

“We certainly had provenance, but not profits, and so we bid Knewz farewell,” the media corporation added. “Thank you to the millions of Knewz users who saw the value of the service and supported our mission.” 

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The page pointed readers to other News Corp.-owned publications, which it called “some of the world’s most trusted news sources,” including The Wall Street Journal, the New York Post and MarketWatch. 

In a statement shared with The Hill, News Corp. said that Knewz’s January 2020 launch and growth came “in the midst of both a pandemic and a historic election, and advanced a distinct social purpose by offering true diversity of views at a time of extreme polarization, ultimately reaching and informing tens of millions of readers.” 

“Knewz also served as an important proving ground for cutting edge editorial, aggregation and mobile app software, and our teams will continue to leverage the valuable technical innovations for the benefit of our businesses and to develop new experiences for readers,” the company added. 

Knewz emerged last year amid growing arguments within the news industry that Google and Facebook were not fairly compensating publishers with profits the multinational tech giants earned from posting their content online. 

At the time of its launch, Knewz said in the "About Us" section of its website that it was “an innovative service designed to let you consume news from a wide variety of sources, free of the bias bubbles and vacuous verticals that frustrate so many discerning readers and thoughtful publishers.” 

The service included articles from more than 400 publishers, including large news outlets like The Washington Post and Murdoch's Fox News, as well as smaller ones like the Anchorage Daily News.

“Readers will have access to publishers large and small, niche and general, located in all 50 states,” News Corp. Chief Executive Robert Thomson said at the time.