BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief Slams Daily Caller for ‘Nativist Garbage’ and ‘Immunity to Shame’ in Leaked Email

Tensions ran high at a Facebook meeting last week where the company sat down with a handful of news editors ahead its testimony before Congress today. However, not everyone was happy with the list of invitees, one of whom included Daily Caller publisher Neil Patel. BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith was irked the outlet would even be represented at the meeting, his frustration being echoed by HuffPost Editor-in-Chief Lydia Polgreen, according to The Wall Street Journal. Both expressed concern that the social media giant was treating the Daily Caller as a legitimate news outlet in an effort to be politically neutral. Smith even took the matter up with Patel directly, clarifying his problems with him in a leaked email tweeted by BuzzFeed’s own media reporter, Steven Perlberg.

Newsonomics: What’s next for the L.A. Times, and a few other questions of the moment for the news business

How do we respond to tragedy? That question is never far from the work of journalists, and Friday’s Annapolis Capital Gazette assault only made it more intimate, with journalists becoming one with the story they’ve covered time and again. Numerous journalists responded to the murder of five of their own by restating the truths of local journalism. The humorist Dave Barry (“Sorry, I’m not feeling funny today — my heart aches for slain journalists“) captured it as well as anyone:
There are over 1,000 daily newspapers in the United States, most of them covering smaller markets, like Annapolis or West Chester. The people working for these newspapers aren’t seeking fame, and they aren’t pushing political agendas. They’re covering the communities they live in — the city councils, the police and fire departments, the courts, the school boards, the Continue reading "Newsonomics: What’s next for the L.A. Times, and a few other questions of the moment for the news business"

Americans may appreciate knowing when a news story is suspect, but more than a third will share that story anyway

“Each new election is a test.” The Washington Post’s Elizabeth Dwoskin took a peek at Facebook’s fact-checking efforts ahead of the Mexican election. (Another big problem in Mexico around the election: Fake news on WhatsApp.) In this case, the most problematic posts are not coming from outside the country but from within it. “The hardest part is where to draw the line between a legitimate political campaign and domestic information operations,” Facebook security executive Guy Rosen said. “It’s a balance we need to figure out how to strike.”
In a talk for security experts in May, Facebook security chief Alex Stamos called such domestic disinformation operations the “biggest growth category” for election-related threats that the company is confronting. These groups, he said, are copying Russian operatives’ tactics to “manipulate their own political sphere, often for the benefit of the ruling party.” This area is also the
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Slate’s Facebook traffic has dropped by 87 percent since 2017. (Anyone else wanna share numbers?)

American news organizations have been reluctant to share just how badly they’re doing on Facebook now. Anecdotal reports of decreased Facebook traffic trickled out through 2017; then, this past January, Facebook announced that it was drastically changing the News Feed to prioritize content from friends, family, and groups over content from brands like news publishers. Still, most publishers have publicly claimed they’re taking the changes in stride, eager for the opportunity to diversify their traffic sources — something they were already doing anyway, of course! Most of the stories we’ve heard about quitting Facebook after precipitous traffic drops have come from non-U.S. sites. Here, however, are some real American numbers, from Slate, which Slate’s Will Oremus reported Wednesday:
Slate — yes, the publication you’re reading right now — got more than 85 million clicks that originated from external sites and apps in January 2017 alone. Almost a third of
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With a light jab at Facebook, Apple News launches a 2018 midterm elections section that’ll “steer clear of rumor and propaganda”

“We won’t shy away from controversial topics, but our goal is to illuminate, not enrage,” read a note from Apple News editor-in-chief Lauren Kern announcing the platform’s dedicated 2018 midterms section. “And we’ll always steer clear of rumor and propaganda. These elections matter. Every vote matters. And now, more than ever, trustworthy, accurate information matters. That’s what you’ll find here.” Apple News, which is expanding to desktop, is seizing the moment of fear and confusion among readers over how much “fake news” (and what actually is fake news) they come across, and among news organizations of how little their audiences trust their work. Instead of promoting automation and algorithms or scale and speed, it’s highlighting the tightly controlled, “well-sourced, fact-based stories” news and information it’ll deliver to Apple News users around the 2018 U.S. midterm elections, “with breaking news, exclusive highlights and analysis from reliable sources selected Continue reading "With a light jab at Facebook, Apple News launches a 2018 midterm elections section that’ll “steer clear of rumor and propaganda”"

News is sometimes a casualty when Facebook and Twitter try to clean up their platforms

Yesterday, Gizmodo Media’s Splinter published a story that included the cell phone number of Trump advisor Stephen Miller. (“He’s a busy guy, but maybe you can get ahold of him long enough to have a productive discussion.”) People started tweeting out links to the story. And almost immediately, those accounts started getting suspended. In fact, just about anyone who linked to the article, tweeted a screenshot of it, or published the phone number had their Twitter account locked down for 12 hours. (Twitter PR: “We are aware of this and are taking appropriate action on content that violates our Terms of Service.”) Twitter indeed has a policy against revealing other people’s personal information, but this raised two questions. First, Twitter’s speed dealing with these tweets seemed at odds with the many other times it has seemed slow (or unwilling) to police hate speech and abuse on its platform. Continue reading "News is sometimes a casualty when Facebook and Twitter try to clean up their platforms"

Despite concerns about control, news publishers are still pushing a lot of content to third-party platforms

Gather round for this history of the troubled, not totally requited relationship between news publishers and powerful technology companies like Google and Facebook. No publisher wants to be reliant on a platform that isn’t within their control, but few want to miss out, either — whether it’s on free(ish) money from Facebook to produce exclusive videos, or trainings from Google, or the promise of making money from readers subscribing on Apple News. “Platforms don’t always reward the best behavior,” one publisher told the researchers at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University in a new report on platforms and publishers, out Thursday. “So you can end up in a rabbit hole where you look at your product in the rearview mirror and think, ‘Is that what I intended to create?’” The 23,721-word report, which is the culmination two years of interviews, publishing data, and tracking of
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