MySpace is going into the news business with a service that will scour the internet for news stories and let users vote on which ones receive the most exposure.

This approach blends elements of Google News and sites such as Digg and Netscape, which rely on readers to submit stories and determine their prominence. It also marks the site’s ambitions to become a web portal like Yahoo!, providing its users with a front door to the internet.

MySpace, which is owned by News Corp, also the parent company of Times Online, will display headlines from external new sites, a practice that attracted legal challenges when Google used it for its news service.

The search engine recently reached a settlement with Agence France-Presse after the news agency claimed that Google had infringed its copyright.

Dan Strauss, who headed the group that developed MySpace News, said that publishers would be able to opt out of the service if they didn’t want their stories to appear on it. He also said that media outlets owned by News Corp would not receive favourable treatment.

The feature, which is expected to be launched as a ‘beta’ test feature, uses technology developed by Newroo, which News Corp bought last year.