New curated news site hopes to break partisan fever

NEW YORK (AP) — A former Fox News executive is launching a curated news website that he says is designed to counter some of the hyper-partisanship that he feels has hurt the reputation of journalists in recent years.

The entrepreneur, Ken LaCorte, is also drawing attention for hiring two journalists who lost their jobs due to misconduct scandals. He’ll work with Mike Oreskes, former top news executive at NPR who left amid accusations of inappropriate sexual advances, and John Moody, who left Fox News after writing a column that said the U.S. Winter Olympics team was “darker, gayer, different” than in the past.

LaCorte says he believes in second chances but, more importantly, wanted to work with two respected journalists.

LaCorte, who worked at Fox News for two decades and ran its website before leaving, likened his upcoming site to a social media feed that takes in articles from a variety of sources. The new site, LaCortenews.com, will also have some original content.

An individual user’s likes and dislikes will be taken into account in deciding what they see. But only stories that pass muster with the journalists that he hires will be posted, LaCorte said.

It’s an attempt to shield users from false news from shady sources that can turn up in a person’s Facebook page, he said. He also wants to expose viewers to different points of view so they can’t hide in news “silos” with only like-minded people.

He said the site will begin operating in a soft launch sometime next month.

Oreskes, who is also a former news executive at The Associated Press, said he didn’t want to overstate his participation in the project, but that he believed in its mission and agreed to help LaCorte with the launch.

“Reducing polarization in digital news is important,” he said. “This project, one of a number I’ve taken on, fits the two tests I set for work I’ve accepted this year. First, that the work return some value to the world. And, second, that the project leaves me time and flexibility to pursue my work of recovery and making amends.”

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