Journalism

European Press Agencies to Google, Facebook: Pay Up | PDNPulse

Nine European press agencies on Wednesday published an op-ed in Le Monde arguing that Google and Facebook should be required to pay copyright royalties on the third-party news and information they distribute and profit from. The article was published as the European Parliament is debating new legislation that would, according to Agence France-Presse, “make Facebook, Google, Twitter and other major players pay for the millions of news articles they use or link to.” The arguments laid out in the statement should have photojournalists, editorial photographers and anyone who cares about the fate of media organizations in the digital age, nodding in unison.

www.theverge.com

Former Facebook exec says social media is ripping apart society – The Verge

Another former Facebook executive has spoken out about the harm the social network is doing to civil society around the world. Chamath Palihapitiya, who joined Facebook in 2007 and became its vice president for user growth, said he feels “tremendous guilt” about the company he helped make. “I think we have created tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works,” he told an audience at Stanford Graduate School of Business, before recommending people take a “hard break” from social media.

What Time Inc.’s Glory Days Looked Like, While an Uncertain Future Awaits – The New York Times

It might be the beginning of the end of one of the country’s most prestigious magazine publishers.

Gossip and News, Strange Bedfellows

On a recent episode of the Longform podcast, the hosts heaped praised on Jodi Kantor and her reporting for the bombshell Harvey Weinstein exposé. The episode was released the same day the New York Times published a story reported by Kantor, Melena Ryzik, and Cara Buckley in which five women accuse comedian Louis C.K. of sexual harassment and assault, a story that had existed in a similar whisper network among female performers for years.

Do Facebook and Google have control of their algorithms anymore? A sobering assessment and a warning | Poynter

Platforms rely on these algorithms to perform actions at scale, but algorithms at scale also become increasingly inscrutable, even to the people who wrote the code. In her recent TED Talk about the complexity of AI, Zeynep Tufekci points out that not even the people behind Facebook’s algorithms truly understand them:

How Fiction Becomes Fact on Social Media – The New York Times

In the coming weeks, executives from Facebook and Twitter will appear before Congressional committees to answer questions about the use of their platforms by Russian hackers and others to spread misinformation and skew elections. During the 2016 presidential campaign, Facebook sold more than $100,000 worth of ads to a Kremlin-linked company, and Google sold more than $4,500 worth to accounts thought to be connected to the Russian government.

The secret cost of pivoting to video – Columbia Journalism Review

Hundreds of journalists have lost their jobs while shiny-object-chasing publishers are no closer to creating cohesive video strategies to replace the traffic those writers were producing. Publishers who pivoted to video have forfeited the majority of their hard-won native audiences in only a year of churning out undifferentiated, bland chunks of largely aggregated “snackable” video. That’s no one’s idea of success

Exploiting suffering or hogging the spotlight? Media slammed for covering Harvey, no matter how they do it | Poynter

Hurricane Harvey has made broadcast journalists covering the Category 4 storm and its devastating aftermath some of the most recognizable figures in American homes this week. Inevitably, as with coverage of any catastrophe that’s close to home, the media have come in for a raft of criticism over how they’re doing their jobs — no matter how they do it.

How the Media Captured Charlottesville and Its Aftermath – The New York Times

As tensions mounted around Charlottesville’s Emancipation Park on Saturday, Ryan M. Kelly stepped onto the sidewalk. Photographing Saturday’s rally was to be his final assignment for the The Daily Progress newspaper in Charlottesville; he had accepted a job as the digital and social media coordinator at a brewery, where, as he noted on Twitter, he would “get paid to geek out about beer.”

John Lanchester reviews ‘The Attention Merchants’ by Tim Wu, ‘Chaos Monkeys’ by Antonio García Martínez and ‘Move Fast and Break Things’ by Jonathan Taplin · LRB 17 August 2017

A neutral observer might wonder if Facebook’s attitude to content creators is sustainable. Facebook needs content, obviously, because that’s what the site consists of: content that other people have created. It’s just that it isn’t too keen on anyone apart from Facebook making any money from that content. Over time, that attitude is profoundly destructive to the creative and media industries. Access to an audience – that unprecedented two billion people – is a wonderful thing, but Facebook isn’t in any hurry to help you make money from it. If the content providers all eventually go broke, well, that might not be too much of a problem. There are, for now, lots of willing providers: anyone on Facebook is in a sense working for Facebook, adding value to the company. In 2014, the New York Times did the arithmetic and found that humanity was spending 39,757 collective years on the site, every single day. Jonathan Taplin points out that this is ‘almost fifteen million years of free labour per year’. That was back when it had a mere 1.23 billion users.

Publishers are desperately pivoting to video—but they should be standing up to Facebook — Quartz

Whether social-media users actually want to watch the kinds of videos that Facebook rewards is beside the point. “What these people are talking about isn’t even actual traditional worthwhile video,” Silvia Killingsworth at The Awl writes, without any mercy at whatsoever. “It’s a box with a play button on it just begging you for a click. It’s a glorified powerpoint presentation—slides, essentially, with words and pictures that flash and Ken Burns around the screen, sometimes with a shaded overlay.”

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