Motherboard: Silicon Valley Elite Discuss Journalists Having Too Much Power in Private App. “During a conversation held Wednesday night on the invite-only Clubhouse app—an audio social network popular with venture capitalists and celebrities—entrepreneur Balaji Srinivasan, several Andreessen Horowitz venture capitalists, and, for some reason, television personality Roland Martin spent at least an hour talking about how journalists have too much power to ‘cancel’ people and wondering what they, the titans of Silicon Valley, could do about it.”
Sydney Morning Herald: Facebook and Google must move away from the zero-sum game. “The Facebook business model is to observe the behaviour of its users, reduce them to stereotypes and then package this data to commercial and political advertisers. Its algorithms feed off ‘engagement’, which is fuelled by outrage, fomenting a commercial incentive for bad behaviour. Moderation is woefully inadequate, outsourced and post facto. If Facebook were serious about keeping the network clean it would hire the tens of thousands of workers required to do it. This has left Facebook with a potent advertising machine which many advertisers don’t feel safe to use.”
Poynter: As TikTok grapples with weightier topics, journalists are tuning in to deliver the news. “CNN’s Max Foster started using TikTok to understand what his kids were up to online. He saw straight TikTok, where teenagers do choreographed dances from their parents’ homes. And he saw elite or alt TikTok, where users impersonate vegetables, retail brands and frogs. Mostly, he saw an opportunity for journalists.”
Reuters: Google stymies media companies from chipping away at its data dominance. “Publishers had expected to use data privacy measures going into effect Aug. 15 to bar Google from storing insights about readers, sapping the data advantage that has enabled it to dominate a market filled with advertisers hungry for information to target potential customers. But Google said it will cut off publishers from a lucrative flow of ads if they follow through with curbing its data collection. Negotiations continue, but Google holds greater leverage because it dominates in both advertising tools and access to advertisers within the $100 billion annual global banner ads market.”
Silicon Republic: Courtsdesk receives £70,000 to build legal database for UK journalists. “Dublin-based Courtsdesk has received £70,000 in funding to build a service supplying listings and outcomes of criminal court cases to journalists in the UK.”
Pew (PEW PEW PEW PEW PEW PEW PEW!- yes, I must do it here too.): Three Months In, Many Americans See Exaggeration, Conspiracy Theories and Partisanship in COVID-19 News. “As Americans continue to process a steady flow of information about the coronavirus outbreak – from changing infection and death rates to new testing protocols and evolving social distancing guidelines – they give the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other public health organizations the highest rating when it comes to getting the facts right. And they give Donald Trump and his administration the lowest rating for ‘getting the facts right’ among five key sources of COVID-19 information, according to a Pew Research Center survey of 9,654 U.S. adults conducted June 4-10, 2020, as part of the American News Pathways project.”
Reuters: Google to pay some publishers for content; others dubious. “Alphabet’s Google on Thursday took a step towards resolving its spat with publishers, saying it would pay some media groups in Australia, Brazil and Germany for high-quality content and expects to do more deals, but others were sceptical.” Shocked. Really.
Native News Online: Native News Online Gets Knight Foundation Grant For New Website, Digital Platform . “One of the most-read news sites covering Indian Country, Native News Online will use the grant to overhaul its website with an updated design and numerous other technical changes to make it more reader-friendly and more useful for marketers.”
TechCabal: COVID-19 is quietly threatening the future of Nigeria’s news media. “As print media becomes more expensive to operate, news publications are switching to the internet. Fortunately, online news consumption is high thanks to the pandemic and virus control measures. Internet service providers say data subscription has spiked as more people stay at home. By recently increasing their digital footprints, news publications are competing for an even smaller online revenue stream. Google and Facebook dominate the online advertising business. Nigerian news media, like other countries, have no leverage capable of getting these platforms to fork out a greater part of their revenue.”
NiemanLab: Philly news outlets are collaborating to offer new kinds of COVID-19 coverage. “In this article, we explore the information needs of this community and other marginalized communities in the Philadelphia region. We follow [Solmaira] Valerio’s work to increase access to Spanish-language news, and how it converged with the efforts of three local journalism projects in Philadelphia: Kensington Voice, the Germantown Info Hub, and Resolve Philadelphia.”
Phys .org: Simple interventions can help people spot false headlines. “A team of researchers studied Facebook’s efforts to educate users on how to spot misinformation. After being exposed to tips on how to spot misinformation, people in the United States and India were less likely to say a false headline was true. The researchers also found, however, that people’s ability to spot erroneous information weakened over time, leading the authors to conclude that digital literacy needs to be taught with regularity.”
NiemanLab: To keep readers around after COVID, publishers see hope in newsletters and podcasts. “Despite the simplicity and relative lack of sophistication, our data show that email news is striking a chord with many users, particularly those who are older and more interested in news. Across 40 markets, around one in six (16%) receive news via email each week, 21% in the United States. But we also find that around half of these say email is their main way of accessing news.”
The Verge: Facebook’s revamped news section launches in the US with a focus on local sources. “Facebook is launching its revamped news tab in the US today, reports TechCrunch, and the launch will include a dedicated local news section among other topics, including a George Floyd-specific section as of Tuesday.”
OneZero: The Digital Archives of the Oldest Black Newspaper in America Show a Long Struggle for Justice. “I first encountered the Afro’s collection while working on an oral history project in East Baltimore. I tagged along with a colleague and visited the Afro’s archive, looking for a historical photo of the neighborhood I was studying. What I found there blew me away. In a meandering series of rooms filling the back portion of a nondescript building on Baltimore’s North Charles Street sat thousands upon thousands of boxes, floor to ceiling, filled with 8×10 photographs. History literally spilled from these boxes, with photos covering tables, desks, even walls. You could open a box and find original photos of Aretha Franklin, a 1930s wedding, or a protest — basically any event, large or small, personal or national, of the past century. As a techie (and especially one in 2010), my first thought was, ‘This has to be digital.'” This is a really long, but really good, read.
Lifehacker: How to Tell If That New COVID-19 Story Is Worth Getting Excited About. “Maybe someday there will be a vaccine or a miracle cure for COVID-19. But if that occurs, it will not be immediately obvious from a news story that’s trumpeted across your TV or your social media feed. Big, important-looking studies come along all the time, and most turn out to be disappointing once you learn the whole story. Here’s a few questions to ask if you think you’re looking at something big.”