News Corp. has shuttered Knewz, its conservative-oriented news-aggregation service, barely 18 months after launching it because it wasn’t profitable.
“We started Knewz as an experiment in news aggregation because we wanted to gather a diverse range of quality journalism, to highlight of all sides of every story and to protect and project provenance,” the company said on its site on Friday.
It continued:“We certainly had provenance, but not profits, and so we bid Knewz farewell. Thank you to the millions of Knewz users who saw the value of the service and supported our mission.”
The above notice provides links to Murdoch properties such as The Wall Street Journal and New York Post.
The story was first reported by Variety.
Knewz was started in 2020 in an apparent attempt by News Corp. to compete with Facebook and Google and their allegedly liberal skew.
But The Columbia Journalism Review challenged the company’s assumptions barely six months in.
“Unlike the opaque algorithms that control what users of technology platforms see, Knewz is being operated by a team of editors and technical experts at News Corp., working in conjunction with the company’s Strategy team, as well as its Storyful unit, ” CJR reported, quoting a News Corp. press release.
CJR added: “Humans editors, like algorithms, can be prone to habit. Analysis by the Tow Center for Digital Journalism demonstrates that Knewz is not just heavily reliant on major news outlets, but frequently defaults to Murdoch titles and the conservative Daily Mail.”