Journalist and Media 2017

I have written on journalism and media trends eariler few years ago. So it is time for update. What is the state of journalism and news publishing in 2017? NiemanLab’s predictions for 2017 are a good place to start thinking about what lies ahead for journalism. There, Matt Waite puts us in our place straight away by telling us that the people running the media are the problem

There has been changes on tech publishing. In January 2017 International Data Group, the owner of PCWorld magazine and market researcher IDC, on Thursday said it was being acquired by China Oceanwide Holdings Group and IDG Capital, the investment management firm run by IDG China executive Hugo Shong. In 2016 Arrow bought EE Times, EDN, TechOnline and lots more from UBM.


Here are some article links and information bits on journalist and media in 2017:

Soothsayers’ guides to journalism in 2017 article take a look at journalism predictions and the value of this year’s predictions.

What Journalism Needs To Do Post-Election article tells that faced with the growing recognition that the electorate was uniformed or, at minimum, deeply in the thrall of fake news, far too many journalists are responding not with calls for change but by digging in deeper to exactly the kinds of practices that got us here in the first place.

Fake News Is About to Get Even Scarier than You Ever Dreamed article says that what we saw in the 2016 election is nothing compared to what we need to prepare for in 2020 as incipient technologies appear likely to soon obliterate the line between real and fake.

YouTube’s ex-CEO and co-founder Chad Hurley service sees a massive amount of information on the problem, which will lead to people’s backlash.

Headlines matter article tells that in 2017, headlines will matter more than ever and journalists will need to wrest control of headline writing from social-optimization teams. People get their news from headlines now in a way they never did in the past.

Why new journalism grads are optimistic about 2017 article tells that since today’s college journalism students have been in school, the forecasts for their futures has been filled with words like “layoffs,” “cutbacks,” “buyouts” and “freelance.” Still many people are optimistic about the future because the main motivation for being a journalist is often “to make a difference.”

Updating social media account can be a serious job. Zuckerberg has 12+ Facebook employees helping him with posts and comments on his Facebook page and professional photographers to snap personal moments.
Wikipedia Is Being Ripped Apart By a Witch Hunt For Secretly Paid Editors article tells that with undisclosed paid editing on the rise, Wikipedians and the Wikimedia Foundation are working together to stop the practice without discouraging user participation. Paid editing is permissible under Wikimedia Foundation’s terms of use as long as they disclose these conflicts of interest on their user pages, but not all paid editors make these disclosures.

Big Internet giants are working on how to make content better for mobile devices. Instant Articles is a new way for any publisher to create fast, interactive articles on Facebook. Google’s AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) is a project that it aims to accelerate content on mobile devices. Both of those systems have their advantages and problems.

Clearing Out the App Stores: Government Censorship Made Easier article tells that there’s a new form of digital censorship sweeping the globe, and it could be the start of something devastating. The centralization of the internet via app stores has made government censorship easier. If the app isn’t in a country’s app store, it effectively doesn’t exist. For more than a decade, we users of digital devices have actively championed an online infrastructure that now looks uniquely vulnerable to the sanctions of despots and others who seek to control information.


  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    8chan Owner Jim Watkins Deflects Blame As Scrutiny Of Extremist-Linked Message Board Increases

    Topline: Jim Watkins, the owner of extremist message board 8chan, has defended the site after increased scrutiny following the shooting in El Paso, Texas, and days after the site’s founder, Fredrick Brennan, called for the platform to be shut down.

    Key background: 8chan has been a breeding ground for far-right extremism and has been recently linked to the Poway, California, synagogue shooting in April and the Christchurch mosque killings in New Zealand in March.

    Experts and critics have warned that kicking 8chan offline will push it deeper underground. The controversy has also put a spotlight on the internet infrastructure companies hosting websites that share extremist content.

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Why Banning 8chan Was So Hard for Cloudflare: ‘No One Should Have That Power’

    Matthew Prince, Cloudflare’s chief executive. “It’s dangerous for infrastructure companies to be making what are editorial decisions,” he said.

    the decision to take 8chan offline, at least temporarily, fell largely to Matthew Prince, the chief executive of the little-known San Francisco company Cloudflare.

    Cloudflare’s service protects a large chunk of the internet, and for years, the decade-old company avoided making decisions about which sites deserved protection and which did not.

    That changed in 2017, after white nationalists held a violent rally in Charlottesville, Va. After the rally, Mr. Prince was pressured to remove The Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi hate site, from Cloudflare’s service.

    It was a break from the company’s content-neutral stance, and Mr. Prince expressed reservations about his choice.

    as one of several internet executives with control over the web’s most basic infrastructure

    in the wake of the El Paso shooting, the calls for him to exercise it by revoking 8chan’s security protections grew louder

    Banning 8chan “would make our lives a lot easier,” Mr. Prince said, “but it would make the job of law enforcement and controlling hate groups online harder.”

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    8chan Forced to Move to Obscure Dark Web Service

    8chan is distributing a copy of its content over a decentralized platform that supporters of the Islamic State also tried to use.

  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    It appears the Trump administration is drafting an executive order that has the potential to radically change how the content posted on social networks are governed, stripping crucial protections from tech companies and inserting much more government oversight. This is being done under the guise of a popular political talking point claiming that social media networks are censoring conservatives.

  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    ”Bloomberg News says that almost one-third of its content is written with the help of robot reporters. The system it uses, known as Cyborg, can pull the essential facts out of routine financial statements and write basic news stories in double-quick time.”

  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Linux Journal shuts down, because cheapskate Linux users don’t spend monen

    Linux users are cheap as hell. Sorry, but it is largely the truth.

    many people only choose Linux because it is free — not because they prefer it.

    And look, that’s fine. There’s nothing really wrong with being averse to spending money. Quite frankly, not wasting money is a noble trait.

    Eventually, when developers can’t pay their bills, that free software you love will disappear.

    Sadly, it is not just software that will vanish because of cheap Linux users, but other aspects of the Linux community too — such as magazines. True, magazines across the board are becoming less popular, but unfortunately Linux Journal has abruptly shut down. This is actually the second time the publication has met its demise

  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Goodbye, Linux Journal

    Linux Journal’s coverage from 1994 to 2019 highlighted Linux’s rise to an enterprise platform that runs a majority of the world’s servers and services.

  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    New York Times:
    How YouTube radicalized Brazil, diverting users to conspiracy and far-right channels, elevating Bolsonaro’s party, and possibly creating a public health crisis

  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Unfortunately, this seems to require confidence in the provider(s) of the detection tools, in this case DARPA, ie. US military. What will happen when one of these providers decides to falsely declare a video a fake ?

    The New Arms Race: Deep Fakes and Their Impact on Information

  10. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Ursula Perano / Axios: owner Automattic says it will buy Tumblr from Verizon, take on ~200 staffers, and keep the porn ban; source says Automattic paid less than $10M — Verizon is set to sell the social network Tumblr to Automattic Inc, the owner of blog site and publishing tool WordPress, the Wall Street Journal reports.

    Verizon agrees to sell Tumblr to owner of WordPress

    Verizon is set to sell the social network Tumblr to Automattic Inc, the owner of online publishing tool WordPress. A source familiar with the deal puts the price-tag “well below” $20 million, while another source puts it below $10 million.

    The big picture: Tumblr, while unprofitable, hosts more than 450 million blogs and was once considered a major player in the social media space. The network was acquired by Yahoo for $1.1 billion in 2013

  11. Tomi Engdahl says:

    YouTube lets biggest stars off the hook for breaking rules, moderators say

    If it feels like certain high-profile YouTubers get way more lenience when it comes to content moderation than everyone else does, that’s apparently because they really do, according to a new report.

  12. Tomi Engdahl says:

    How Yahoo derailed Tumblr

    After Marissa Mayer promised
    ‘not to screw it up’

    The biggest acquisition of Mayer’s tenure as Yahoo CEO, Tumblr was supposed to revive Yahoo by broadening its audience and bolstering its long declining advertising business.

    Tumblr launched in 2007 to make it easier for people to write, share and discover blogs about anything. Literally anything.

    Tumblr built strong communities, launched Internet memes, led to countless book deals and helped shape the culture, online and offline. It remains an incredibly vibrant network with hundreds of millions of accounts

    But the team behind Tumblr was derailed for a year by mass staff departures, internal politics with its parent company, Mayer’s questionable executive appointments and a flawed attempt to integrate Tumblr’s ad sales team with Yahoo

  13. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Knight Foundation:
    Survey: Americans are “very” (66%) or “somewhat” (26%) concerned that if a large company bought their local news org, the owners’ views would influence coverage

    When it comes to local news mergers, bias top concern

  14. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:
    YouTube changes policy: copyright owners will no longer be able to monetize creator videos with very short or unintentional uses of music via its manual tool — YouTube is making a change to its copyright enforcement policies around music used in videos, which may result in an increased number …

    YouTube shuts down music companies’ use of manual copyright claims to steal creator revenue

  15. Tomi Engdahl says:

    How New Technology Affects Our Consumption Of Art And Media

    Despite the growth of AI and machine learning in the fields of insurance and business, the one sector where we are not fully exploring new technology’s possibilities is that of art and media. Sure, the potential of streaming media has been explored to a large degree with the availability of films on Netflix and Amazon, but this is just the tip of the iceberg.

    Other forms of digital art have become more popularized with the internet, especially in the realm of graphic design

    In terms of media exposure, the internet has given birth to an entirely new genre of media innovation

  16. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Google “Machine Learning Fairness” Whistleblower Goes Public, says: “burden lifted off of my soul”

    Google Insider Wants More Insiders to Blow Whistle: “people have been waiting for this Google Snowden moment where somebody comes out and explains what everybody already knows to be true”

    “I felt that our entire election system was going to be compromised forever, by this company that told the American public that it was not going to do any evil”

  17. Tomi Engdahl says:

    China Pays Twitter To Promote ‘Fake News’ Attacks On Hong Kong Protesters

    Twitter has been allowing promoted tweets—essentially targeted ads— to be placed by China’s state media, attacking pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong and blaming those campaigners for the escalating violence and civil unrest.

  18. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Hong Kong protests: Twitter and Facebook remove Chinese accounts

    Twitter and Facebook have taken steps to block what they described as a state-backed Chinese misinformation campaign.

    Twitter said it removed 936 accounts it said were being used to “sow political discord in Hong Kong”.

  19. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Bianca Devins: The teenager whose murder was exploited for clicks

    In the days since, her story has spread across the world – as have the violent images of her death.

    Her murder, which played out so publicly, is the latest case to place scrutiny on how social media companies police extreme content.

  20. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Google says China used YouTube to meddle in Hong Kong protests

    Google has disabled 210 YouTube accounts after it said China used the video platform to sow discord among protesters in Hong Kong.

  21. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Rick Perry Fell For An Obvious Internet Hoax And Everyone Is Making The Same Horrifying Point

    Well, it appears the US’s nuclear arsenal is in the hands of a man who shared the same obvious Instagram hoax your grandpa did, under the supervision of a man who just attempted and failed to buy Greenland.

    The message he reposted to his 24,800 followers claimed that Instagram is about to impose a new rule where it can use all your photos, messages, and deleted messages and photos, and make them public.

    The post is of course nonsense and appeared on Facebook almost word for word in 2012, when it was also nonsense.

    The governor isn’t the only high-profile person to get taken in by the hoax.

  22. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Claire Wardle / Scientific American:
    Misinformation, spread by exploiting our eagerness to share content without thinking, has created a “new world disorder” that we need to safeguard against

    Misinformation Has Created a New World Disorder

    Our willingness to share content without thinking is exploited to spread disinformation

    Many types of information disorder exist online, from fabricated videos to impersonated accounts to memes designed to manipulate genuine content.
    Automation and microtargeting tactics have made it easier for agents of disinformation to weaponize regular users of the social web to spread harmful messages.
    Much research is needed to understand the effects of disinformation and build safeguards against it.

    Stress testing technology in the context of the worst moments in history might have illuminated what social scientists and propagandists have long known: that humans are wired to respond to emotional triggers and share misinformation if it reinforces existing beliefs and prejudices. Instead designers of the social platforms fervently believed that connection would drive tolerance and counteract hate. They failed to see how technology would not change who we are fundamentally—it could only map onto existing human characteristics.

    Online misinformation has been around since the mid-1990s. But in 2016 several events made it broadly clear that darker forces had emerged: automation, microtargeting and coordination were fueling information campaigns designed to manipulate public opinion at scale.

    Trust in institutions is falling because of political and economic upheaval, most notably through ever widening income inequality. The effects of climate change are becoming more pronounced. Global migration trends spark concern that communities will change irrevocably. The rise of automation makes people fear for their jobs and their privacy.

    Bad actors who want to deepen existing tensions understand these societal trends, designing content that they hope will so anger or excite targeted users that the audience will become the messenger. The goal is that users will use their own social capital to reinforce and give credibility to that original message.

    Most of this content is designed not to persuade people in any particular direction but to cause confusion, to overwhelm and to undermine trust in democratic institutions from the electoral system to journalism.

  23. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Jordan Peterson: The deepfake artists must be stopped before we no longer know what’s real

    It’s hard to imagine a technology with more power to disrupt

    media companies such as Forbes and Motherboard (a division of Vice) noting that the machine learning technology only required six hours of original audio (that is, actually generated by me) to produce its credible fakes, matching rhythm, stress, sound and prose intonation.

    Recently, however, a company called put an AI engine online that allows anyone to type anything and have it reproduced in my voice. It’s hard to get access to or use the site, at the moment, presumably because it is currently attracting more traffic than its servers can handle.

    It’s hard to imagine a technology with more power to disrupt. I’m already in the position (as many of you soon will be as well) where anyone can produce a believable audio and perhaps video of me saying absolutely anything they want me to say. How can that possibly be fought? More to the point: how are we going to trust anything electronically mediated in the very near future (say, during the next presidential election)? We’re already concerned, rightly or wrongly, with “fake news” — and that’s only news that has been slanted, arguably, by the bias of the reporter or editor or news organization. What do we do when “fake news” is just as real as “real news”? What do we do when anyone can imitate anyone else, for any reason that suits them?

  24. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The new new web

    How old web technologies are being replaced by scalable and simpler new technology stacks

    Programming like the pro that

    Over the last five years, almost everything about web development has changed. Oh, the old tech still works, your WordPress and Ruby On Rails sites still function just fine — but they’re increasingly being supplanted by radical new approaches. The contents of your browser are being sliced, diced, rendered, and processed in wholly new ways nowadays, and the state of art is currently in serious flux.

  25. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Trump’s Tweets Cost Investors Over $500 Billion

    USA and China trade war.

    In the course of 2 minutes on Friday President Trump unleashed 6 tweets about Fed Chairman Powell’s speech at the central bank’s Jackson Hole annual economic policy symposium and China announcing that it would impose 5% to 10% tariffs on $75 billion of U.S. exports to China. The stock market reacted immediately and intensely negatively to Trump’s first set of tweets sending the Dow Jones 30 Industrials down about 400 points in 15 minutes and 500 points within an hour.

  26. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Megan Greenwell / Deadspin:
    On her last day, Deadspin EIC Megan Greenwell describes the tragedy of digital media, where execs know less about making money than do ignored employees

    There is a version of the story of this company in which idealistic journalists, unconcerned with profit, are posed against ruthless business-doers, concerned about profit above all else. That would be a convenient story, pitching me and my colleagues and friends as people who just care too much about The Truth to yield before the gale-force winds of Capitalism, but it wouldn’t be a true one.

    The real and less romantic story is this: The journalists at Deadspin and its sister sites, like most journalists I know, are eager to do work that makes money; we are even willing to compromise for it, knowing that our jobs and futures rest on it. An ever-growing number of media owners, meanwhile, are so exceedingly unwilling to reckon with the particulars of their own business that they refuse to accept our eagerness to help them make money. They’re speaking a language no one else does, proud of their own inability not just to not fail, but to not understand the terms on which they’re failing. The tragedy of digital media isn’t that it’s run by ruthless, profiteering guys in ill-fitting suits; it’s that the people posing as the experts know less about how to make money than their employees, to whom they won’t listen.

    “It’s still a killer business,”

    The question I hear the most about the owners of this company is “Why did they buy a bunch of publications they seem to hate?”


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