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NewsCorp acquires Irish social firm

NewsCorp acquires Irish social firm

A social media news agency based in Ireland has been bought by NewsCorp – the mass media corporation that owns publishing house HarperCollins and is responsible for a number of UK national newspapers, including The Times and The Sun.

Dublin-based Storyful, which was acquired by the media giant for £15.3m, is a specialist in the licensing and distributing of content for social media to a host of major news companies, including the BBC and the Wall Street Journal.

According to BBC News, the company’s founder, Mark Little, said he believes that journalism, when considering the power of social media, needs to be “open, innovative and collaborative”.

The start-up was founded three years ago and Little has previously worked as a presenter for RTE, Ireland’s national television and radio broadcaster.

Storyful’s services involve verifying the authenticity of online videos, as well as licensing the usage rights of popular viral clips to broadcasters.

Despite the acquisition, the company is set to remain in its current premises in the Irish capital and will continue to act as a standalone firm.

Speaking about the deal, News Corp’s chief executive, Robert Thompson, said that Storyful is the “village square” for valuable videos, calling on sensibility, creativity and integrity to discover, authenticate and ultimately commercialise content generated by users.

The nature of the acquisition only serves to further highlight the relevance of social media in today’s news arena. Now, Twitter and Facebook have become, for many people, the first port of call when it comes to getting up to date on world affairs, industry events and even local news – a fact that many news suppliers are acknowledging and using to their advantage.

Richard Bell

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