Facebook and Google are giving more lip service (and boot camps) to local news


This post is by Christine Schmidt from Nieman Lab


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On the heels of Facebook’s first local news conference this week, Google announced a new subscription boot camp for eight local publishers in the U.S. and Canada. The Local Media Association is partnering with the Google News Initiative to carry out the six-month program, bringing in consultants to evaluate and revamp their subscription process. “Those chosen must be dedicated to figuring out a subscriptions strategy with buy-in and direct involvement from the highest executives (including the CEO) in their respective companies. They’ll come with open minds, a willingness to experiment and a community spirit built around sharing what they learn along the way. We’re looking to help these eight publishers make significant leaps forward with their subscription businesses, the kinds of leaps that can transform these organizations,” LMA president Nancy Lane wrote in Google’s blog post about the effort. It sounds similar to Facebook’s subscription accelerator for local news Continue reading "Facebook and Google are giving more lip service (and boot camps) to local news"

Facebook and Google are giving more lip service (and boot camps) to local news


This post is by Christine Schmidt from Nieman Lab


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




On the heels of Facebook’s first local news conference this week, Google announced a new subscription boot camp for eight local publishers in the U.S. and Canada. The Local Media Association is partnering with the Google News Initiative to carry out the six-month program, bringing in consultants to evaluate and revamp their subscription process. “Those chosen must be dedicated to figuring out a subscriptions strategy with buy-in and direct involvement from the highest executives (including the CEO) in their respective companies. They’ll come with open minds, a willingness to experiment and a community spirit built around sharing what they learn along the way. We’re looking to help these eight publishers make significant leaps forward with their subscription businesses, the kinds of leaps that can transform these organizations,” LMA president Nancy Lane wrote in Google’s blog post about the effort. It sounds similar to Facebook’s subscription accelerator for local news Continue reading "Facebook and Google are giving more lip service (and boot camps) to local news"

Trump Accuses Google of ‘Helping China and their Military’ But Not the U.S.


This post is by Tamar Auber from Mediaite


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On Saturday, President Donald Trump accused Google of “helping China and their military” but not the United States. The statement was made in a tweet. “Google is helping China and their military, but not the U.S,” Trump wrote. “Terrible! The good news is that they helped Crooked Hillary Clinton, and not Trump….and how did that turn out?” Trump’s tweet comes after Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that Google’s work in China is indirectly aiding the military. “The work that Google is doing in China is indirectly benefiting the Chinese military and I’ve been very public on this issue as Continue reading "Trump Accuses Google of ‘Helping China and their Military’ But Not the U.S."

A tax on digital ad spend (*cough* Facebook and Google) could bring in $2 billion for journalism


This post is by Christine Schmidt from Nieman Lab


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Facebook and Google aren’t going to stop targeting ads to Internet users, and advertisers aren’t likely to stop loving the data that get their wares in front of super-specific eyeballs. So could a tax on those billions of targeted ad dollars be what it takes to help support journalism of value? A new paper from advocacy group Free Press (the same folks who are close to getting the New Jersey government to budget money for local news innovation) argues that tax revenue devoted to quality journalism could be a silver lining in the very tool that foreign states and sneaker companies use to spread disinformation and sell shoes based on an incredible amount of user information, respectively. “Free Press believes a sound approach to addressing this dangerous system is an old one: taxes. In this case, a tax would be levied against targeted advertising to fund the kind of Continue reading "A tax on digital ad spend (*cough* Facebook and Google) could bring in $2 billion for journalism"

While YouTube and Facebook fumble, Pinterest is reducing health misinformation in ways that actually make sense


This post is by Laura Hazard Owen from Nieman Lab


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The growing stream of reporting on and data about fake news, misinformation, partisan content, and news literacy is hard to keep up with. This weekly roundup offers the highlights of what you might have missed.

“Freedom of speech versus freedom of reach.” Pinterest got a positive spate of publicity Thursday as a couple different outlets reported on its policy (“which the company hasn’t previously publicly discussed but which went into effect late last year,” per The Wall Street Journal) of refusing to surface certain “polluted” terms like “vaccine” and “suicide” in search results. From The Guardian:

“We are doing our best to remove bad content, but we know that there is bad content that we haven’t gotten to yet,” explained Ifeoma Ozoma, a public policy and social impact manager at Pinterest. “We don’t want to surface that with search terms like ‘cancer cure’ or ‘suicide.’
Continue reading "While YouTube and Facebook fumble, Pinterest is reducing health misinformation in ways that actually make sense"

Newsonomics: In the Consolidation Games, enter the bankers


This post is by Ken Doctor from Nieman Lab


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The bankers are now hired. Is the early 2019 newspaper chain M&A face-off now getting serious? It’s reminiscent of an earlier brand of warfare. Newspaper chains — all cutting desperately, each facing a shortening deadline to make a “digital transition” — line up their dealmaking armies, swords sharpened if not yet crossed. Gannett, having rejected the hostile takeover bid of Alden Global Capital, has decided to hire Goldman Sachs to advise it on the next rounds of dealmaking, I’ve learned. Goldman participated in Thursday’s Gannett/Alden meeting, alongside Greenhill, its ongoing deal-advising firm. As that meeting happened, Alden, with its banker Moelis, filed an alternative slate of directors for election at Gannett’s upcoming annual meeting. That action, though, is just another uncertain indicator of whether it’s Alden’s true intent to acquire Gannett, a number of insiders have told me. As Bloomberg’s Brooke Sutherland summed up well in her lede on
Continue reading "Newsonomics: In the Consolidation Games, enter the bankers"

Scorched Earth


This post is by Jeff Jarvis from BuzzMachine


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I just gave a talk in Germany where a prominent editor charged me with being a doomsayer. No, I said, I’m an optimist … in the long run. In the meantime, we in media will see doom and death until we are brutally honest with ourselves about what is not working and cannot ever work again. Then we can begin to build anew and grow again. Then we will have cause for optimism. Late last year in New York, I spoke with a talented journalist laid off from a digital news enterprise. She warned that there would be more blood on the streets and she was right: In January, more than 2,000 people have lost their jobs at news companies old and now new: Gannett, McClatchy, BuzzFeed, Vice, Verizon. She warned that we are still fooling ourselves about broken models and until we come to terms with that, more blood will flow. So let
Continue reading "Scorched Earth"

Newsonomics: The 2019 newspaper consolidation games continue


This post is by Ken Doctor from Nieman Lab


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Alden’s going to snatch Gannett! No, Gannett’s going to turn the tables and buy Alden’s Digital First Media! But wait, Gannett will reject Alden — is that a real offer? — and turn its attention to merging with Tribune! No, Tribune — having dispatched its CEO Justin Dearborn to clear the way for a deal — will buy Gannett, or accept the kind-of offer from Gannett to buy it, which it rejected last year? But, then, there’s McClatchy in the wings, having been spurned by Tribune at the holidays and now angling for a new deal with Tribune, or Gannett, or maybe someone else! So go the fortunes of four of the six largest U.S. daily newspaper companies. The journalists’ Twitter is alight with Game of Thrones metaphors, but I think that’s misplaced. The action seems more Bravo-esque. Or, more prosaically, as one newspaper company exec told me Continue reading "Newsonomics: The 2019 newspaper consolidation games continue"

Newsonomics: 18 lessons for the news business from 2018


This post is by Ken Doctor from Nieman Lab


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




We live in transgressive, new-Orwellian times. Fact has been subverted by forces beyond our imagination, both newly minted and old school. Truth, elusive truth, is now in the mind of the subscriber. Yes, it is subscribers, along with their digital payments, who are transforming what’s working best among news-originating companies today and laying the groundwork for the early 2020s. With 2019 nearly upon us, we can look at the year past and see a tired decade dragging to a close, with few winners, numerous strugglers, and caravans of losers. Facebook has fallen flatter on its face, The Social Network is in danger of becoming a social disease. Google maintains its primacy, even as its CEO is called to Capitol Hill to explain how the current president’s name somehow appears when “idiot” is typed into its engine. Greed isn’t just good in the minds of many — it’s the long-term strategy Continue reading "Newsonomics: 18 lessons for the news business from 2018"

Newsonomics: 18 lessons for the news business from 2018


This post is by Ken Doctor from Nieman Lab


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




We live in transgressive, new-Orwellian times. Fact has been subverted by forces beyond our imagination, both newly minted and old school. Truth, elusive truth, is now in the mind of the subscriber. Yes, it is subscribers, along with their digital payments, who are transforming what’s working best among news-originating companies today and laying the groundwork for the early 2020s. With 2019 nearly upon us, we can look at the year past and see a tired decade dragging to a close, with few winners, numerous strugglers, and caravans of losers. Facebook has fallen flatter on its face, The Social Network is in danger of becoming a social disease. Google maintains its primacy, even as its CEO is called to Capitol Hill to explain how the current president’s name somehow appears when “idiot” is typed into its engine. Greed isn’t just good in the minds of many — it’s the long-term strategy Continue reading "Newsonomics: 18 lessons for the news business from 2018"

Macaulay Culkin and Google Team Up for a Home Alone Reboot (Sort of) in Time for the Holidays


This post is by Josh Feldman from Mediaite


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Home Alone ranks highly among classic Christmas films like Miracle on 34th Street, A Christmas Story, and, of course, Die Hard. And now Kevin McAllister is back just in time for the holiday season. Macaulay Culkin has teamed up with Google for a kinda-sorta reboot where older Kevin is still home alone, but this time he has a friend in his Google Assistant. Fans of the original movie will definitely appreciate a lot of the attention to detail in the ad, which you can watch above. [image via screengrab]

Consumers love smart speakers. They don’t love news on smart speakers. (At least not yet.)


This post is by Laura Hazard Owen from Nieman Lab


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Smart speakers like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant are rapidly gaining in popularity, but use of news on the devices is lagging, according to a report released Wednesday night by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. Use of the devices for music and weather is still far ahead of news use. And among consumers’ complaints about news briefings: They’re too long. Luckily, there’s time for news publishers to catch up, finds Nic Newman, a senior research associate at RISJ, who did his research via in-home interviews and focus groups, online surveys, and publisher interviews. (He also tapped Amazon, Apple, and Google for whatever data they were willing to share — which, unsurprisingly, wasn’t a lot; none of the companies would share data on how many devices they’ve sold or discuss trends in how news is consumed on them.) Smart speakers are still devices for early adopters:
Continue reading "Consumers love smart speakers. They don’t love news on smart speakers. (At least not yet.)"

The New York Times is digitizing more than 5 million photos dating back to the 1800s


This post is by Laura Hazard Owen from Nieman Lab


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




The New York Times is digitizing more than 5 million photos from its archives — some dating back to the 1800s — with help from a variety of Google technologies. The photos will be used in a series called Past Tense. (First up: a package focusing on how the paper covered California in the 20th century.) “Ultimately, this digitalization will equip Times journalists with useful tools to make it easier to tell even more visual stories,” Monica Drake, Times assistant managing editor, said in a statement. From CNET:
The newspaper’s “morgue” has 5 million to 7 million photos dating back to the 1870s, including prints and contact sheets showing all the shots on photographers’ rolls of film. The Times is using Google’s technology to convert it into something more useful than its current analog state occupying banks of filing cabinets. Specifically, it’s using Google AI tools to
Continue reading "The New York Times is digitizing more than 5 million photos dating back to the 1800s"

Newsonomics: Newspapers are shells of their former selves. So who’s going to build what comes next in local?


This post is by Ken Doctor from Nieman Lab


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Neil Chase knows the painful realities of managing and motivating a daily newsroom in 2018. “You can’t ask dedicated, veteran career journalists to completely change the way they work without explaining why,” the Mercury News executive editor said at a panel discussion I moderated at Stanford two weeks ago. (The panel’s fitting title? “The Last Stand for Local News.”) “So I shared some very simple charts with the newsroom, showing the decline in our circulation and staffing over the past decade, and how that trajectory would put us out of business in the mid-2020s if we don’t make some drastic changes. We then started talking about reorienting the newsroom to serve a digital subscription audience, and we’ve made major progress since.” Chase knows that his staff can still churn out great work, as do many of the 23,000 or so remaining journalists in U.S. daily newsrooms. But Continue reading "Newsonomics: Newspapers are shells of their former selves. So who’s going to build what comes next in local?"

Google’s terrible new news feed thinks I’m mainly interested in misogynists and down jackets


This post is by Laura Hazard Owen from Nieman Lab


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




What do the following topics have in common: Donald Trump, Kate Middleton, Milo Yiannopoulos, Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery,” Harvard, James Patterson, and cruelty-free down alternatives? Well, they are all the topics of news stories that appeared in my Google app on Tuesday morning, following a Google update that brings a new “Discover” news feed to Google’s app, under the Google doodle, search box, and weather. HOW ARE YOU DOING THIS MORNING? HERE’S MILO YIANNOPOULOS’S EYEBROWS-RAISED FACE! SURE, HE MAY HAVE BEEN BANISHED FROM TWITTER AND FACEBOOK, BUT HE CAN STILL APPEAR DIRECTLY UNDER YOUR SEARCH FOR “SMITTEN KITCHEN MEATBALLS”! As Dieter Bohn pointed out in The Verge, the introduction of a bunch of random news stories to a place where you didn’t used to see them is — annoying at best, these days. It feels less “interesting stories you might have missed” than “garbage ‘news’ you definitely weren’t
Continue reading "Google’s terrible new news feed thinks I’m mainly interested in misogynists and down jackets"

Gab is Back in the Headlines and Off the Web


This post is by WNYC Studios from On the Media


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The social media website Gab has faced sanction and scorn in the days since one of its active users killed 11 members of Pittsburgh's Jewish community. Gab had, for the past few years, made itself out as a "free speech" harbor, safe from the intellectual strictures of the mainstream web. That is to say, it attracted — and very rarely rejected — hordes of neo-nazis, anti-PC provocateurs and right-wing trolls.  When Brooke interviewed Gab's then-COO Utsav Sanduja last fall, the company was in the midst of an anti-trust lawsuit against Google, claiming the the tech titan had wielded its monopoly power to silence a competitor. Brooke spoke with Sanduja about that lawsuit — and about his website's frequently deplorable content. 

What happens when Facebook goes down? People read the news


This post is by Josh Schwartz from Nieman Lab


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What would the world look like without Facebook? At Chartbeat, we got a glimpse into that on August 3, 2018, when Facebook went down for 45 minutes and traffic patterns across the web changed in an instant. What did people do? According to our data, they went directly to publishers’ mobile apps and sites (as well as to search engines) to get their information fix. This window into consumer behavior reflects broader changes we see taking hold this year around content discovery, particularly on mobile. This is good news for publishers.

Traffic trends reverse

Despite volatility driven by algorithm shifts and intense news cycles, user demand for content (represented by traffic across the web) is quite stable. But the sources of that traffic are anything but static. In fact, we’ve seen a major reversal in the specific sources driving traffic to publisher sites in the past year. Key shifts:

What have tech companies done wrong with fake news? Google (yep) lists the ways


This post is by Laura Hazard Owen from Nieman Lab


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




“Warning! This story describes a misrepresentation of women.” NewsMavens, a news source curated entirely by women at European news organizations, has launched #FemFacts, a fact-checking initiative “dedicated to tracking and debunking damaging misrepresentations of women in European news media.” “We’re not just going to track false news, but also try to have a more nuanced approach to finding stuff like manipulated presentation of facts: misinformation that’s not false, but skewed,” Tijana Cvjetićanin told Poynter’s Daniel Funke. Their first fact-checks are here. Will California’s media literacy law for schools backfire? At the end of September, California passed a bill (SB 830) that “encourages” media literacy education in public schools by requiring “the state Department of Education’s website to list resources and instructional materials on media literacy, including professional development programs for teachers.” But Sam Wineburg, who’s done some great research on how bad people Continue reading "What have tech companies done wrong with fake news? Google (yep) lists the ways"

Google isn’t just a search engine — it’s a literal extension of our mind


This post is by Benjamin Curtis from Nieman Lab


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We are losing our minds to Google. After 20 years, Google’s products have become integrated into our everyday lives, altering the very structure of our cognitive architecture, and our minds have expanded out into cyberspace as a consequence. This is not science fiction, but an implication of what’s known as the “extended mind thesis“, a widely accepted view in philosophy, psychology and neuroscience. Make no mistake about it, this is a seismic shift in human psychology, probably the biggest we have ever had to cope with, and one that is occurring with breathtaking rapidity — Google, after all, is just 20 years old, this month. But although this shift has some good consequences, there are some deeply troubling issues we urgently need to address. Much of my research spans issues to do with personal identity, mind, neuroscience, and ethics. And in my view, as we gobble up Google’s
The Conversation
Continue reading "Google isn’t just a search engine — it’s a literal extension of our mind"

Steve Bannon Tells CNN’s Darcy Govt Should Seize Private Business Data, Form New Bureaucracy


This post is by Caleb Howe from Mediaite


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Following President Donald Trump‘s Google tweet this week, the topic of tech bias against conservative points of view has been in the news. CNN’s Reliable Sources asked several top Trump figures about it for their Wednesday newsletter, and one person who responded was Trump insider/outsider Stephen Bannon, who felt the President is right to want to take action against “big tech.” CNN’s Oliver Darcy, who spoke to Bannon, tweeted some his comments. Bannon, of course, runs Breitbart.com, best known for their primary verticals “Big Hollywood” and “Big Government”. He told Darcy he wants big government to step in with new regulations to seize private information from independent business by force, and then create new big government bureaucracy to manage that data for the “public good.”
Bannon said Big Tech’s data should be seized and put in a “public trust.” Specifically, Bannon said, “I Continue reading "Steve Bannon Tells CNN’s Darcy Govt Should Seize Private Business Data, Form New Bureaucracy"