Some Thoughts on the New Media Power Grab
News is everywhere in our modern world. It is something that we all seem to get all too accustomed to. From the front page of every newspaper to the front page of your nightly news channel – it is all around us. There are some things that news can influence and affect that are important to remember when watching news. These events can be used as guidelines for understanding how the news affects your reality. The following is a list of 5 events that can help you understand the impact that news has on your daily life.
First, 4 aug. 2021. A story by reporters at the Associated Press incorrectly identified the city where the former First Lady was born. This mistake was made in error, but the damage was already done. News of the mistake quickly made its way across the internet, becoming the topic of discussion in social media forums as well as news publications with millions of readers. News of the mistake spread quickly, causing an angry reaction from the Mayor of New York City and from Clinton herself who called her former campaign aide to apologize for the error.
Second, 4 July. A story from multiple local newspapers described a new software program meant to improve local newspapers’ business models. The software supposedly would allow local newspapers to accept online donations instead of relying on their usual ad budget. However, the public did not have much patience for the news that the new software would likely force paper sellers to raise prices on their publications. The controversy grew so large that the local newspaper editors eventually decided to remove the feature from their publication. The paper also reported that they were reviewing their commercial agreement with the software company to see if they could avoid future misunderstandings.
Third, 4 July. A story from the New York Times described a new plan to allow small local newspapers to use interactive features like Facebook and Twitter to attract more readers. News of this story spread quickly across social media, with many people calling for a boycott of the small local newspapers. As is typically the case with new media, people were quick to draw the conclusion that this was simply another example of a power grab by a large company. Major newspapers such as the New York Times immediately issued a strongly worded condemnation of the move, and other major newspapers including the Wall Street Journal issued statements calling for restraint. In a related matter, a group of state representatives called on the American Association of Publishers to drop its complaints about the New York Times story.
Fourth, 6 July. An interesting article in the New York Times reported that news agencies are often willing to work with small online news services in order to obtain online advertising. News agencies supply news services to a wide range of websites, and the newspaper said it had received offers from at least two of those companies. It noted that both of the proposed deals would involve major news agency supplies news agency content to blogs that would bypass regular news print.
Last, but not least, just before I posted this article, The Associated Press issued an article reporting that the French government had proposed new rules that would force news media agencies to offer their services to any Internet site that wants them. The proposal would require media organizations to register with the government, in addition to paying a similar amount as they would for advertising on newspapers. Whether or not this will become a reality remains to be seen. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.