Vice News to launch local language news channel in seven countries

Newsroom expansion planned in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Australia, Brazil and Mexico

Gideon Spanier
Friday 17 October 2014 13:16
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Vice News, the hip news organisation that has reported from global trouble spots such as Syria and Ukraine, is set to launch in seven new countries and increase its London and New York bases.

Vice Media founder Shane Smith, on a visit to London, said he plans to launch “local-language” editions of Vice News and newsrooms in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Australia, Brazil and Mexico.

Smith will also boost the London office of US-based Vice Media, which already employs over 150 in Shoreditch, its headquarters for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Vice News launched in March and claims to be the fastest-growing channel on YouTube, with nearly 150 million video views and a big following of Millennials, young people who came of age at the turn of the millennium.

Vice claims to cover “stories that often go overlooked by legacy news outlets”. A 42-minute documentary about Islamic State, shot on the ground in Syria and Iraq, got seven million views in a week.

Smith founded Vice as a gonzo magazine in 1994 but has turned it into an online behemoth that is valued at $2.5 billion (£1.6 billion) after raising $500 million to fund expansion, including a traditional TV channel.

Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox and Disney-backed A&E Networks are among investors.

Louisa Compton, editor of Radio 1’s Newsbeat, admitted this week the BBC is “playing catch-up on Vice”.

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