Storyful’s Áine Kerr to join Facebook to spearhead journalism partnerships

11 Feb 20162.39k Views

Áine Kerr at last year's Web Summit. Kerr helped grow Storyful's journalism team to 100 in five years and guide its One Newsroom vision

News Corp-owned Storyful’s managing editor Áine Kerr is leaving the Dublin-headquartered company to become Facebook’s head of journalism partnerships.

Kerr successfully managed a career transition from a traditional newspaper political correspondent into a fully-fledged digital journalist and has been the leading light behind the new Online News Alliance organisation, which held its first meeting in Dublin in recent weeks.

Before Christmas, it emerged that Facebook’s social media rival Twitter had taken on Storyful’s founder, former Prime Time presenter Mark Little, as vice-president of media for Europe and Africa.

In a blog post, Kerr said she would leave Storyful later this month.

‘I’m proud to say that we’ve built a team of leaders who can now step up to take charge of and execute our vision for news, viral, trends and brands’

Kerr joined Storyful five years ago during the worst of the recession and when print media’s decline was accelerating.

Support Silicon Republic

“When I first joined Storyful’s staff of 10 people in June 2011, I left behind a tried-and-tested form of doorstep journalism: a journalism of conferences and soundbites, a journalism where you were only ever as good as your last scoop. A journalism too often centered on the pursuit of an ego boost via a television appearance or a front-page byline.

“With Storyful, I stepped into a world where collaboration replaced competition, where the motivation was to operate as the honest broker between eyewitnesses and the world’s media, where the incentive was to bring content from the margins to the mainstream, where your sources were also your audience.”

Storyful was acquired two years ago by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp for €18m.

Kerr pioneered Storyful’s One Newsroom vision and helped grow its journalism team from 10 to 100 in five years.

“Having read Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In, some time after Storyful’s acquisition in December 2013, I became pretty attached to the concept of being a leader who is a chairman rather than chief, largely because of this quote: ‘Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence.’ And I’m proud to say that we’ve built a team of leaders who can now step up to take charge of and execute our vision for news, viral, trends and brands,” Kerr said.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years