For Rupert and his sons, the press has always been the prime weapon in their power-seeking agenda.
There are three key higher-order next steps, all of which are at the scale of the New Deal.
– Create a sustainable business structure for information intermediaries (like news organizations) that allows them to be profitable without the pressure of ROI.
– Actively and strategically rebuild the social networks of America.
– Find new ways of holding those who are struggling.
It’s one of the biggest traffic drivers on the web, but Google’s policies about how to get into the index are opaque, and applied at random.
I wanted to clarify a comment made in response to my curating resources associated with Google, however I have moved departments and Google is no longer at the core of my work. Although I dip in now and then to my feed, the majority of my curation occurs out of hours on the train ride home or after the children have finally gone to bed. Rightly or wrongly, this is what I choose to spend my time with. I have little interest in gaming or watching television. I would argue that my current work does not necessarily allow the time, but rather the cognitive space to explore divergent ideas.. If the perception is that I sit all day at my desk reading the web, then it is wrong. I did spend time
In regards to my newsletter, thank you for the feedback. Some food for thought moving into the new year.
“In our ‘news’ today we can see the tattler, the party pamphlet, the recondite journal of opinion, the yellow rag, the journal of commerce, the sob sister, the literary journal, and the progressive muckraker.”
The 1940s to 1980s were a golden age for newspaper owners to make money and journalists to make news. But they were only a golden age for a certain group of people. Many citizens — women and African-Americans, to take just two examples — often did not see themselves in news reporting and had few opportunities to shape it. It is no surprise that most of those writing the laments for times gone by are white men. Those men have long practiced such lamentations. Even in the 1980s, discussions at the American Society for Newspaper Editors were filled with a “persistent nostalgia for a mythic golden age when news was better made and better respected by the public.”
Cory Doctorow touches upon the association between newspapers and advertising in a recent interview for …
Both Google and Facebook may argue—and may even believe—that they simply want to help increase the supply of quality journalism in the world. But the fact remains that they are not just disinterested observers. They are multibillion-dollar entities that compete directly with media companies for the attention of users, and for the wallets of every advertising company that used to help support the business model of journalism. Their funding and assistance can’t be disentangled from their conflicted interests, no matter how much they wish it could.
Links and notes coming soon! Timecodes: 00:00:00 Opening Credits 00:01:31 Intro 00:02:28 NAPLAN in the news 00:15:04 Feature Introduction 00:16:32 Off Campus – Dan Haesler 00:18:44 Dr Helen S…
To what extent Facebook’s disruption of the media facilitated the political upheaval and polarization we’ve seen over the past several years is a question that researchers will be debating and investigating for some time. But it seems clear they’re related. And it was Facebook’s takeover of the news that gave Russian agents the tools to influence elections and civil discourse in democracies around the world.
First, by encouraging people to get news from all different sources in the same place, Facebook leveled the playing field among publishers.
Second, whereas human editors used to be trained to select and emphasize stories based on their news value, Facebook’s news feed algorithm optimized for clicks, views, likes, and shares.
This move isn’t to repair the damage done to democracy, but rather to limit the damage done to its users.
When social media started becoming driven by images, he bought Instagram. When messaging took off, he bought WhatsApp. When Snapchat became a threat, he copied it. Now, with all his talk of “time well spent,” it seems as if he’s trying to co-opt Tristan Harris too.
Back in 2012, the most exciting social network for distributing news online wasn’t Facebook, it was Twitter. The latter’s 140-character posts accelerated the speed at which news could spread, allowing its influence in the news industry to grow much faster than Facebook’s. “Twitter was this massive, massive threat,” says a former Facebook executive heavily involved in the decision making at the time.
So Zuckerberg pursued a strategy he has often deployed against competitors he cannot buy: He copied, then crushed. He adjusted Facebook’s News Feed to fully incorporate news (despite its name, the feed was originally tilted toward personal news) and adjusted the product so that it showed author bylines and headlines. Then Facebook’s emissaries fanned out to talk with journalists and explain how to best reach readers through the platform.
The catch with this change is that it is merely a focus on being THE platform. This therefore meant overlooking the multitude of complexities associated with ‘news’:
Facebook hired few journalists and spent little time discussing the big questions that bedevil the media industry. What is fair? What is a fact? How do you signal the difference between news, analysis, satire, and opinion? Facebook has long seemed to think it has immunity from those debates because it is just a technology company—one that has built a “platform for all ideas.”
The problem with this stance, to “never favour one kind of news”, is that “neutrality is a choice in itself.” This choice is one that can then be cajoled and manipulated:
While Facebook grappled internally with what it was becoming—a company that dominated media but didn’t want to be a media company—Donald Trump’s presidential campaign staff faced no such confusion. To them Facebook’s use was obvious. Twitter was a tool for communicating directly with supporters and yelling at the media. Facebook was the way to run the most effective direct-marketing political operation in history.
One of the many things Zuckerberg seemed not to grasp when he wrote his manifesto was that his platform had empowered an enemy far more sophisticated than Macedonian teenagers and assorted low-rent purveyors of bull.
Ironically, he has now turned to the community to work as curators.
Along with investigations into the links between Facebook funding and research, these posts help highlight the tangled mess that we have gotten ourselves into.