News Corp. launches Knewz platform as Google search alternative
Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. went live with its Knewz service, betting that the irreverently named online platform can become the new way that readers seek out journalism.
The website Knewz.com features headlines from more than 400 large and small publishers, from the Washington Post to the Anchorage Daily News, as well as the left-leaning Daily Kos and the right-leaning Washington Examiner.
The headlines, which are curated both by artificial intelligence and human editors, include links that send readers directly to publishers’ websites, where the media companies can make money from advertising and subscriptions. Knewz.com doesn’t yet have its own advertising.
The idea is to help publishers claw back some of the control and ad dollars they’ve lost to Google and Facebook Inc. The news industry has long complained that internet giants benefit from its content without adequately compensating publishers.
Knewz.com will do “generous aggregation” and publishers “will not be relegated in the rankings,” News Corp. Chief Executive Officer Robert Thomson said in a statement, an apparent reference to controversies over how prominently articles appear in Google search results.
The website is splashed in bright yellow that’s similar to the study guide CliffsNotes, while the various links resemble a flashier version of the Drudge Report, which began in the 1990s and still drives enormous traffic to publishers’ websites. But unlike Drudge, Knewz.com features the logo of the publishers next to the headlines to let users know the source.
On Wednesday, the site had articles on the coronavirus from CNBC and CNN, and impeachment stories from Politico and the Washington Times, among others.
Since it was first disclosed in August, Knewz.com has been mocked on social media for its name. On Wednesday, some Twitter users also took issue with the design, including one who said it “gives me anxiety and hurts my eyes.”