To improve how Australian audiences receive their local, News Corp Australia is introducing hyperlocal news technology.
Users will be able to personalise news by postcode, and also follow individual journalists, topics and subtopics, covering their local areas or other communities in which they have an interest.
News Corp Australasia’s executive chairman Michael Miller said the initiatives, dubbed My News Feed and My Local, build on the company’s long tradition of delivering audiences and commercial clients with the stories that matter.
“We’re really combining old-fashioned boots-on-the-ground reporting with the very best technology we believe is available in today’s media market,” he said.
“These innovations deliver subscribers all the news they want, how they want and when they want seamlessly across all devices, whether it’s hyperlocal, state or international news.”
Miller said My Local’s ability to search by postcode would especially benefit the company’s regional and community journalism as it’s unveiled in coming weeks.
“We’re continuing to support local and regional journalism by enabling readers to get to those stories in a number of ways – through the strap on the homepage, through dedicated pages for each local and regional masthead, through the ability to follow these mastheads and to follow their favourite local and regional journalists.
“Whether you’re in Gympie or Grafton, Byron or Bundaberg, you’ll be able to tune in to the latest news locally or from across the network to follow what’s happening in your community.”
My News Feed and My Local are the latest incarnations of a new technology suite News Corp Australia has developed to rebuild its digital channels from the ground up, delivering subscribers and commercial clients more targeted, user-friendly content combined with less congestion at far greater speeds.
Miller said the technology was a definitive evolution from the significant changes the company had made over the past year to better meet the needs of audiences and clients.
“We’ve repositioned ourselves to ensure we’re less complex for audiences and advertisers and we’ve done this through our targeted investment in digital innovation,” he said.
“My News Feed and My Local provide consumers with a frictionless and personalised experience and is a significant step in realising our digital future.”
The capability is being rolled out across the company’s websites, mobile sites and, in the weeks ahead, the apps of the state-based, regional and community mastheads.
My News Feed works simply by tapping a Follow button above any story’s headline on any section. Once pressed, that topic or journalist is placed into the subscriber’s news feed and syncs it across all the user’s devices.
Chief technology officer Julian Delany said the multi-stage rollout had already seen the mastheads become faster, smarter, less congested, and more user-friendly.
“Our technology is nuanced enough so that you can, for example, get stories about specific subtopics such as Collingwood Football Club but ignore all other AFL coverage,” he said.
The technology was developed over the past year following a detailed research project to discover what audiences from across Australia and the globe expected from news web, app and mobile sites.