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:

    Report: U.S. declines again in press-freedom index, falls to ‘problematic’ status

    For the third time in three years, the United States’ standing in an annual index of press freedom declined, a result the report’s authors attributed to President Trump’s anti-press rhetoric and continuing threats to journalists.

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Mueller report details the evolution of Russia’s troll farm as it began targeting US politics

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    ”Sri Lanka blocked several social media networks in the wake of terrorist attacks on Sunday, including Facebook and the messaging service WhatsApp. The extraordinary step reflects growing global concern, particularly among governments, about the capacity of American-owned networks to spin up violence.

    YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat and Viber were also inaccessible, according to internet monitoring groups.

    “This was a unilateral decision,” said Harindra Dassanayake, a presidential adviser in Sri Lanka.

    Officials blocked the platforms, he said, out of fear that misinformation about the attacks and hate speech could spread, provoking more violence.”

  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Ben Munster / Decrypt:
    Interviews with contractors who write crypto white papers reveal startups routinely force them to fabricate business models, inflate funding budgets, and more — We dive into this murky industry to find out who writes these things, what goes into the research and how much it really costs to get one written.

    Confessions of a White Paper writer

    We dive into this murky industry to find out who writes these things, what goes into the research and how much it really costs to get one written.

  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Nate Lanxon / Bloomberg:
    Facebook tells UK MPs that New Zealand shooter’s first-person video fooled its AI content detection, saying it was something “we had not seen before” — – Labour party lawmaker calls tech platforms a “cesspit” — Tech firms giving evidence on hate crime to U.K. panel

    Facebook Says First-Person Christchurch Video Foiled AI System

  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Casey Newton / The Verge:
    Blocking social networks after terrorist attacks can do more harm than good, especially in places like Sri Lanka where official sources are often unreliable

    Blocking social networks after terrorist attacks can do more harm than good
    We should be suspicious when governments crack down on speech in the name of safety

  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Nate Lanxon / Bloomberg:
    Facebook tells UK MPs that New Zealand shooter’s first-person video fooled its AI content detection, saying it was something “we had not seen before” — – Labour party lawmaker calls tech platforms a “cesspit” — Tech firms giving evidence on hate crime to U.K. panel

    Facebook Says First-Person Christchurch Video Foiled AI System

  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Marco Arment /
    Overcast introduces a new clip-sharing feature, allowing users to share audio or video clips, up to a minute each, from any public podcast — Sharing podcasts has never been easy, but I’ve always tried to lead the way with Overcast, with publicly shareable episode links and optional recommendations …

    Clip sharing with Overcast

  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Facebook blocks could open the door to online censorship

    ‘In that chaos and confusion, people don’t know what to believe’

  10. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Joshua Benton / Nieman Lab:
    Amazon is looking to hire a managing editor of news for its video doorbell company Ring to “deliver breaking crime news alerts to our neighbors”

    A doorbell company owned by Amazon wants to start producing “crime news” and it’ll definitely end well

    Because what good is a panopticon if you can’t generate some clicks?

  11. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Christine Schmidt / Nieman Lab:
    Facebook to give 60+ academics around the world access to its data for projects on news polarization, disinformation, and more

    Here are the social media and democracy research projects Facebook is giving data to

    Facebook knows it screwed up, is trying to do better, and is spending some of this year actually listening to critiques and suggestions (supposedly). Zuckerberg even has a podcast now!

  12. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Paris Martineau / Wired:
    Online extremism researchers face a similar toll on their mental health as content moderators, but, without anonymity, their work leaves them open to harassment

    The Existential Crisis Plaguing Online Extremism Researchers

  13. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Teresa Mioli / Journalism in the Americas:
    Journalists and press freedom advocates are highlighting a theme of media for democracy in times of disinformation for the 26th World Press Freedom Day

    World Press Freedom Day focuses on ‘journalism and elections in times of disinformation’

    Each May 3 is a global celebration of press freedom and its importance to society. For this year’s World Press Freedom Day (WPFD), journalists and press freedom advocates will focus on media and elections, as well as the role of media in peace and reconciliation processes.

    This is the 26th year that WPFD is celebrated around the globe since it was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in December 1993. The year’s theme is “Media for Democracy: Journalism and Elections in Times of Disinformation.”

  14. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Google Says It’s Reviewed Over 1M Suspected Terrorist Videos on YouTube This Year

    Google has reviewed more than 1 million suspected terrorist videos on YouTube in the first three months of 2019, according to a letter the tech giant sent to US lawmakers.

    Google says it’s reviewed over 1M suspected terrorist videos on YouTube this year

    The company says it spends “hundreds of millions of dollars” yearly on content review.

  15. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Facebook Bans Alex Jones, Yiannopoulos, Other Far-Right Figures

    Facebook said it’s banning a number of controversial far-right figures, including Alex Jones, Milo Yiannopoulos and Laura Loomer, for violating the social-media company’s policies on hate speech and promoting violence

    Facebook Bans Alex Jones, Milo Yiannopoulos, Other Far-Right Figures

  16. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Rob Price / Business Insider:
    Facebook shared info about extremist ban with some news outlets before the ban was in place, letting Alex Jones and others redirect followers to other platforms — – Facebook is barring a bunch of far-right figures from its apps, including Alex Jones. — But the company briefed journalists …

    Facebook tried to turn a ban of far-right figures into a PR opportunity, but it backfired

  17. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Alex Kantrowitz / BuzzFeed News:
    Facebook is taking the same self-assured approach to safety that it has with products, but it is strange to see the company be so proud of cleaning its own mess

    Facebook Is Patting Itself On The Back For Cleaning Up Its Own Mess

    Facebook is taking the same self-satisfied approach to safety that it has with its products.

  18. Tomi Engdahl says:

    When it comes to elections, Facebook moves slow, may still break things

    This week, Facebook invited a small group of journalists — which didn’t include TechCrunch — to look at the “war room” it has set up in Dublin, Ireland, to help monitor its products for election-related content that violates its policies.

    Facebook announced it would be setting up this Dublin hub — which will bring together data scientists, researchers, legal and community team members, and others in the organization to tackle issues like fake news, hate speech and voter suppression — back in January. The company has said it has nearly 40 teams working on elections across its family of app

    The European Commission is also keeping a close watch on how platforms handle political disinformation before a key vote.

    But with the pan-EU elections set to start May 23

    The EU parliament elections are now a mere three weeks away, and there are a lot of unresolved questions and issues Facebook has yet to address.

  19. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Alexandria Neason / Columbia Journalism Review:
    Media Matters study of 2,000 tweets by major news outlets shows they amplified false or misleading Trump claims 19 times/day on average, without disputing them

    On Twitter, news outlets amplify Trump’s false statements: study

    When a president speaks, what he says is, by journalistic norms, inherently newsworthy. But when a president lies—on social media, at press conferences, and in speeches—news organizations have to reconsider old rules that instruct us to print (or tweet, or air) everything that he says. A new study from Media Matters for America found what many have long suspected anecdotally: news outlets too often fail to debunk Donald Trump’s false statements in the body of tweets about press conferences, speeches, or press gaggles headlined by the president.

    “There is a lot of discussion of how journalists are passing on the president’s misinformation in headlines and tweets and we wanted to put some data to the phenomenon,” says Gertz, a senior fellow at Media Matters. “I was not expecting to have results that were as extreme as what we got.”

    Thirty percent of the tweets sent during that time period referred to false or misleading statements made by Trump, as defined by The Washington Post’s ongoing database. Nearly two-thirds of the time—an average of 19 times per day—the Twitter accounts managed by the selected news outlets did not label the statements as false in the body of the tweet.

    In 828 days, President Trump has made 10,111 false or misleading claims

    The Fact Checker’s ongoing database of the false or misleading claims made by President Trump since assuming office.

  20. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Jack Shafer / Politico:
    Facebook could have limited the reach of Alex Jones and other “dangerous” figures without outright bans, which erode the US’ strong free speech traditions

    Here’s How Facebook Should Really Handle Alex Jones

    There are ways to limit extreme ideas on the platform while still protecting free speech.

    Facebook was within its rights to evict the accounts, even if they’ve done nothing criminal. It’s Facebook’s house, after all, and because the government isn’t involved it’s not a First Amendment issue. But the absolutism of Mark Zuckerberg’s rash housecleaning this week leaves a scrape and a dent in our strong free speech traditions. Facebook, like other social media organizations, has taken the narrow position that ideas and expressions that don’t violate the law can be too dangerous for dissemination—and must be suppressed instead of debated or debunked.

  21. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Teresa Mioli / Journalism in the Americas:
    Journalists and press freedom advocates are highlighting a theme of media for democracy in times of disinformation for the 26th World Press Freedom Day

    World Press Freedom Day focuses on ‘journalism and elections in times of disinformation’

    Each May 3 is a global celebration of press freedom and its importance to society. For this year’s World Press Freedom Day (WPFD), journalists and press freedom advocates will focus on media and elections, as well as the role of media in peace and reconciliation processes.

    Guterres goes onto say that this is particularly true during elections when voters should be guided by facts.

    “Yet, while technology has transformed the ways in which we receive and share information, sometimes it is used to mislead public opinion or to fuel violence and hatred,” he said, calling attention to the decrease in civic space and the growth of anti-media rhetoric and violence and harassment of journalists.

  22. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Nicholas Thompson / Wired:
    Fifteen months after the paywall launch, Wired EIC discusses the effectiveness of newsletters, gifts, phrasing in turning readers into subscribers — A LITTLE OVER a year ago, we introduced a paywall at WIRED.

    We Launched a Paywall. It Worked! Mostly.

    To start, we wanted to give ourselves stronger structural incentives to do great reporting. When your business depends on subscriptions, your economic success depends on publishing stuff your readers love—not just stuff they click. It’s good to align one’s economic and editorial imperatives! And by so doing, we knew we’d be guaranteeing writers, editors, and designers that no one would be asked to create clickbait crap of the kind all digital reporters dread.

    But the idea was also broader. At WIRED we genuinely believe that journalism as a whole needs to diversify its revenue streams. The advertising business has supported this business for decades—but digital advertising is unruly, unpredictable, and slowly being swallowed by the social media platforms. Paywalls aren’t for every publication

    First off: It worked! Of course you’d expect me to say that, but it really did. I promise. We increased the number of new digital subscribers in the first year by nearly 300 percent over the year before.

    The second lesson: The stories that led people to subscribe were a little surprising. When we started this, we invested in three new kinds of pieces: longform reporting, Ideas essays, and issue guides. All three types overindex in generating subscriptions. But they weren’t the only things that drove subs.

    Our experiences with gifts was odd. At the beginning of the year, we offered subscribers a new YubiKey. That was a great value! And it may have created a secondary market for YubiKeys on eBay.

    As anyone who runs an online business knows, the order form is also extremely important, and we spent loads of time trying to optimize ours.

    We also ran a bunch of interesting experiments. When we asked people to “place order” instead of “start my subscription,” 9 percent more did so.

  23. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Alex Hern / The Guardian:
    YouGov and Cambridge poll of 25,000+ people in 23 countries finds that UK citizens trust social media platforms less than any other nation surveyed

    Britons less trusting of social media than other major nations

    Majority in UK favour stronger regulation of tech companies such as Facebook and Twitter

    Britons trust social media platforms less than any other major nation and favour stronger regulation of Silicon Valley’s technology companies, according to a survey of 23 countries.

    More than four in five Britons distrust platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, with other developed nations such as France, Germany and the US not far behind. The attitudes contrast sharply with those in middle-income countries such as Brazil, India and Mexico, where trust is far higher.

    Respondents were asked how much they trusted information from various sources, including national broadsheet newspapers, social media and online-only news websites. Britons were the least trusting of all of those media: just 12% trusted information from social media, compared with 83% who had little or no trust in platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

    In all, 23% of Americans said they trusted information gained from social media, as did 20% of Germans, and 28% of Canadians. In developing nations, however, the trust was much higher: a majority of Indians (52%), Saudis (52%) and Thais (52%) trusted information from social media – as did 51% of Poles.

  24. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Priya Anand / The Information:
    Sources: Google is rapidly adding retailers to Google Express, tests showing product recommendations and prices with an option to buy under YouTube videos

    Google’s New Plan to Challenge Amazon for Shoppers

    Google has struggled for years to build an online shopping business that can seriously compete with Amazon. Now, as Google’s prized advertising business faces a growing threat from Amazon, the search giant is planning new steps to bolster its shopping presence.

    Google is testing a new feature on its YouTube video service that displays product prices and recommendations under videos playing on the site

  25. Tomi Engdahl says:

    After Facebook bans seven extremists, Trump, in a series of tweets, complains about the ban, retweeting extremists’ tweets, and issuing vague threats

    Trump tweets support for far-right figures banned by Facebook

    Facebook barred seven users from its services earlier this week, citing its policies against “dangerous individuals and organizations.” Now President Donald Trump is siding with the people who were banned and railing against social media “censorship” — all while using one of his favorite social sites.
    The president shared more than a dozen tweets about the subject on Friday night and Saturday morning. And he conveniently avoided the fact that some of the banned users are extremists who make a living by deceiving their fans.

  26. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Wall Street Journal:
    Visualizations show the stark divide between a handful of national newspapers that have managed to make the digital transition, and the struggling local outlets

    In News Industry, a Stark Divide Between Haves and Have-Nots

    Local newspapers are failing to make the digital transition larger players did — and are in danger of vanishing

  27. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Jacob Silverman / New Republic:
    A freelance writer details how journalism’s use of part-time freelancers has hurt the industry, making corporate writing the only refuge for a steady income

    Down and Out in the Gig Economy

    Journalism’s dependence on part-time freelancers has been bad for the industry—not to mention writers like me.

  28. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Committee to Protect Journalists:
    In 2018, 54 journalists were killed for their work worldwide, and five have been killed in 2019; 250 journalists are imprisoned, with 28 on “false news” charges

  29. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The Vision for a more Decentralized Web

    The internet is decentralized by design. It took off with hackers running independent servers in their basements. Direct peer-to-peer communication was common among the first inhabitants of the web. The internet was a liberating force that connected and empowered people. The ability to send information instantly to any corner of the world seemed surreal and fascinating.

    As more and more of the population joined, the net became more convenient. It shifted towards centralized services and walled gardens. We have waived our rights for the faster, sleeker experience which gradually turned into ad-ridden, attention-grabbing nightmare that we face today. Nowadays, the web is ruled by corporate overlords

    Maybe it is still an option to swing back the pendulum and empower internet users with independence, content ownership and liberty? I believe it still can be done. And the initial deep ideas of the decentralized web can help to guide us towards this important goal.

    Step 1: Liberate Content Publishing

    Step 2: Empower decentralized identity

    Step 3: Liberate Content Sharing

  30. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Accenture sued over website redesign so bad it Hertz: Car hire biz demands $32m+ for ‘defective’ cyber-revamp

    Rental firm fuming after consultancy ‘never delivered a functional site or mobile app’

  31. Tomi Engdahl says:

    A study compared Finnish and American students’ ability to detect fake news

    Across all five tasks, the students in Finland had “consistently superior outcomes” than their American peers.

    The study authors attribute the difference in performance in part to the way the international high school program in Finland teaches and prioritizes critical thinking skills. Unlike the California curriculum, the high school program curriculum explicitly ties critical thinking skills into other subjects, and focuses exclusively on the skill in a course called Theory of Knowledge. “The curriculum in the US,” on the other hand, “embeds critical thinking only implicitly into subject coursework.”

  32. Tomi Engdahl says:

    P.J. Bednarski / MediaPost:
    Survey of 4,500 online shoppers: 17% buy regularly from voice assistants, up 6% YoY; 62% have clicked on an ad on social media with 31% making a purchase

    Study: Voice Assistants Far From Hot Marketplace For Buying

  33. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Kara Swisher / New York Times:
    While social media platforms, as private entities, aren’t bound by First Amendment guarantees, their self-descriptions as public squares creates confusion

    Trump Is Confused About Social Media. He’s Not Alone.

    The First Amendment doesn’t say you can tweet whatever you want.

    I’m sorry to be the one to have to tell the president, but someone has to: Social media is not the public square, not even a virtual one.

    Not Facebook. Not Reddit. Not YouTube. And definitely not Twitter, where a few days after Facebook announced it was barring some extremist voices like Alex Jones, President Trump furiously tapped out: “I am continuing to monitor the censorship of AMERICAN CITIZENS on social media platforms. This is the United States of America — and we have what’s known as FREEDOM OF SPEECH! We are monitoring and watching, closely!!”

    He can monitor (yes, that’s definitely a creepy word) and watch all he wants, but it will not matter one bit. Because the First Amendment requires only that the government not make laws that restrict freedom of speech for its citizens.

    The confusion is understandable. Those inventive entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley, with their smooth libertarian groove and anything-goes tone, let users huff and puff away so much that you would think that they were actually committed to the idea of a free-for-all. And they were, until it became clear that humanity could get really ugly and out of control pretty quickly and turn it into a Free Speech Thunderdome.

    It was too much, then too little and most definitely too late. Now they are realizing that reining in that expression will be hard if not impossible, since they taught everyone that they could say whatever they want on their platforms. They have been trying to have it both ways, and as a result their responses have been perplexing.

  34. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Anthony Ha / TechCrunch:
    IAB and PwC: US digital ad spending was up 22% YoY in 2018, exceeding $100B for the first time, mobile ads grew 40% YoY to $69.9B, video ads grew 37% to $16.3B

    US digital advertising exceeded $100B in 2018 (IAB report)

    Specifically, total domestic spending reached $107.5 billion, a 22% increase from 2017. Mobile advertising has become increasingly dominant, growing 40% year-over-year, to $69.9 billion. And video ad spending grew 37% to $16.3 billion.

  35. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Todd Gitlin / Columbia Journalism Review:
    Journalists still have failed to reckon with shortcomings of their 2016 campaign coverage, which gave policy much less space than the horse race — No sooner had newsrooms shaken their election night astonishment and called the 2016 election for Donald Trump than a journalistic consensus crystallized

    As the republic teeters, will the news media get serious?

    No sooner had newsrooms shaken their election night astonishment and called the 2016 election for Donald Trump than a journalistic consensus crystallized on where campaign coverage had gone wrong: a collective failure of prophecy. In the run-up, after all, “everyone” had agreed that the race was Hillary Clinton’s to lose. The polls said so loud, clear, and rather consistently, so it was egg on our faces.

    Still, when more than 200 political journalists convened in Chicago April 11 and 12 at the invitation of David Axelrod, veteran democratic strategist, and Harvard’s Nieman Foundation, New York Times correspondent Michael M. Grynbaum described their purpose as “talk[ing] about how to cover the presidential race in a way that won’t leave anybody dumbfounded on election night.” As if campaign coverage were like event planning: make sure the bride doesn’t trip on her gown; make sure the divorced parents aren’t seated next to each other.

    So, presumably, in 2020, once every last diner in every last Rust Belt town has been canvassed, reporters will be properly prepared for that democratic moment when the people (or at least the electoral college) weigh in on the nation’s destiny, right?

  36. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Whistleblower Says Facebook Generating Terror Content

    Facebook is unwittingly auto-generating content for terror-linked groups that its artificial intelligence systems do not recognize as extremist, according to a complaint made public on Thursday.

  37. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The End of the Internet as We Know It
    Be careful what you tweet for.

    An Internet where anyone can post anything, and anyone can find it and read it. The continued existence of this online freedom (and all the good, the bad and the ugly that it produces) faces a range of threats. The big businesses that choose what most people read are kicking more users off their sites. The freedom the Internet gives is becoming freedom for these big companies to spy on us. But one of the biggest threats to the Internet comes from governments

  38. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Here are 24 cognitive biases that are warping your perception of reality

    We are each entitled to our own personal world view.

    Unfortunately, when it comes to interpreting information and making objective sense of reality, human brains are hard-wired to make all kinds of mental mistakes that can impact our ability to make rational judgments.

    In total, there are 180+ cognitive biases that mess with how we process data, think critically, and perceive reality.

  39. Tomi Engdahl says:

    “Mark’s power is unprecedented and un-American,” writes Chris Hughes, in an explosive op-ed published in The New York Times. “It is time to break up Facebook.”

  40. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Zuckerberg says breaking up Facebook “isn’t going to help”

  41. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Emmanuel Macron’s plan to fix Facebook, YouTube and Twitter

    It involves putting regulators at the heart of platforms’ machinery for policing content, in an approach inspired by the financial sector.

  42. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Emily Bell / Columbia Journalism Review:
    In an era of information warfare, few newsrooms are prepared to train their reporters on how to keep themselves and their sources safe in cyberspace

    Mapping the battleground for the next information war

    For journalists, this era of information warfare presents both a personal and an existential threat. It also presents a myriad of new questions about how the rules and ethics applied to journalism should change. To lean again on McLuhan: “Electrical information devices for universal, tyrannical womb-to-tomb surveillance are causing a very serious dilemma between our claim to privacy and the community’s need to know.”

    According to research by Amnesty International, women across the political spectrum face frequent online harassment, and for women of color that harassment is exponentially worse. Reporters who investigate extremism have found their own information and the identities of their families posted online, and their editors and colleagues harassed. Outside the US, the troll armies of authoritarian governments swarm against critical press

    Ethical newsrooms train reporters how to keep themselves and their sources safe in physically hostile environments. The new challenge for newsrooms is extending those practices to cyberspace, as both journalists and their sources risk online and offline consequences that flow from their work.

    The root of the problem is well known but the solutions are underdeveloped. Companies like Facebook and Google have made billions of dollars from platform designs that make it easy to publish but difficult to detect misinformation.

    Fake news, fake accounts, bots, real accounts that look like bots, doxxing, trolling, propaganda, targeted harassment, hidden influence, and the vast umbrella of misinformation have occupied much of our media and political coverage of the past two years. And there is more to come. Artificial intelligence allows for many more automated activities which will reshape communications in a more profound way than even the mobile social web.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *