Facebook Launches News and Journalism Accelerator Program in Canada

As part of its efforts to better support journalism, Facebook has launched an incubator program to foster start-ups working to create innovative businesses related to news and media. The Digital News Innovation Challenge will support five teams of entrepreneurs as they work to develop ideas that can impact journalism. The Challenge is one of the steps Facebook is taking to better support journalism; the social media platform has been widely criticized for how it has turned the media upside-down, from sucking up digital ad spend to perpetuating fake news. Facebook is partnering with tech business incubator DMZ, which is based within Ryerson University in Toronto.  “Quality journalism delivers facts and ideas that help us better understand society, and each other,” Kevin Chan, Head of Public Policy for Facebook Canada, said. “The Facebook community values sharing and discussing ideas and news, which is why it is critical for us to
Continue reading "Facebook Launches News and Journalism Accelerator Program in Canada"

AL.com’s new Facebook brand, Reckon, aims to build an identity that breaks out of newspaper voice

“One of Alabama’s U.S. Senate candidates is a MONSTER,” a recent Facebook video declares. This wasn’t from a political group or a page pushing misinformation — it was produced and published by Reckon by AL.com, a Facebook page from Alabama Media Group (publisher of AL.com and the state’s three largest newspapers) that focuses on fostering “tough conversations” among local followers. These take the form of explainers, Hearken-solicited reader questions, a little breaking news, and satire, like this clip. (Think Vox on the Chattahoochee.) You see, the thing that makes a candidate a “MONSTER” in Alabama is…being a Democrat. “The other guy would have to be some kind of a Class A creep to be worse than a Democrat in Alabama, right?” Ian Hoppe, the video’s host and AMG’s managing producer of news video, deadpans. In the swirl of the Roy Moore saga, in
Continue reading "AL.com’s new Facebook brand, Reckon, aims to build an identity that breaks out of newspaper voice"

10 Things You Can Do Now to Up Your Social Media Game in 2018

Are you in a newsroom right now? Take a look at your social media team. What are they doing? Most likely, they’re posting stories from your staff on Twitter and Facebook. They’re checking Google Analytics or Parse.ly or Chartbeat to see if those links are successfully penetrating the fickle social media universe. They’re explaining to another young reporter why she needs to change the name on her Twitter account to, well, anything else but @FoxyGrrrl15. What’s that? You don’t have a social media team anymore? It was abandoned in the pivot to video, or maybe during the third round of staff cuts since April? In that case, someone might remember to post a photo on Instagram in between remaking the home page and writing a city council meeting brief. A decade ago, Facebook, Twitter and subsequent platforms were viewed suspiciously by some people in newsrooms and greeted with hope
Continue reading "10 Things You Can Do Now to Up Your Social Media Game in 2018"

Ari Melber Hits Zuckerberg: Facebook Doesn’t Care if it Posts Propaganda ‘As Long As You Keep Clicking’

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been a regular target for MSNBC’s Ari Melber. In October, The Beat host took on the Facebook creator for using hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico as a prop to promote a new app. Then on Nov. 1, Melber called out Zuckerberg for ducking Congressional hearings on how Facebook was used by the Russians to interfere in the 2016 election. Wednesday night, Melber blasted Zuckerberg once more. His charge this time? Facebook isn’t concerned about posting fake news. It is only concerned with the traffic. “Facebook doesn’t just want to you connect,” Melber said. “It wants to you crave those connections. It stokes just about anything that meets that profitable craving. As a platform, they don’t care if news is real or propaganda from Russia as long as you keep clicking.” The Beat host went on to turn the focus specifically on Zuckerberg. “[T]he question for Mark Continue reading "Ari Melber Hits Zuckerberg: Facebook Doesn’t Care if it Posts Propaganda ‘As Long As You Keep Clicking’"

“Checking Twitter…while being rushed into a bunker”: Considering fake news and nuclear war

Coming soon: The Disinformation Action Lab. Part of a group of Knight grants announced last week: The Data & Society Research Institute is getting $250,000 to launch the Disinformation Action Lab, which will “use research to explore issues such as: how fake news narratives propagate; how to detect coordinated social media campaigns; and how to limit adversaries who are deliberately spreading misinformation. To understand where online manipulation is headed, it will analyze the technology and tactics being used by players at the international and domestic level.” It continues the work of Data & Society’s Media Manipulation initiative (one of whose reports I covered here). The details of the Disinformation Action Lab — including who will be hired to lead it — are still being worked out, said Sam Hinds García, Data & Society’s director of communications. The publication of the May report “opened the door for Continue reading "“Checking Twitter…while being rushed into a bunker”: Considering fake news and nuclear war"

The Trust Project brings news orgs and tech giants together to tag and surface high-quality news

Will readers trust the news more if they have more information about who’s behind it? It’s worth a try. Thursday marks the launch of The Trust Project, an initiative three years in the making (but feeling oh-so-relevant right about now) that brings together news outlets such as The Washington Post, The Economist, and the Globe and Mail, as well as Facebook, Google, Twitter, and Bing, in a commitment to “provide clarity on the [news organizations’] ethics and other standards, the journalists’ backgrounds, and how they do their work.” The project will standardize this method of increased clarity so that news organizations, large and small, around the world can use it, and so that the algorithms of the tech giants can find and incorporate it. “The public can look at this and say, ‘okay, I know more about what’s behind this organization’,” said Sally Lehrman, senior director of Continue reading "The Trust Project brings news orgs and tech giants together to tag and surface high-quality news"