Hot Topic - Social Media
The internet upended the media world as the new century arrived. Social media came into full view a decade ago. Nothing has been the same. People around the world liked, literally, these platforms, which promised to connect everybody to everybody else. The advertising people liked this very, very much. The data collected by cookies, bots and algorithms looked like a gift from the gods. It was not.
News publishers no longer have ink in their veins. Thatís been replaced with a concoction of algorithms and virtual reality heavily salted with fake news. Arteries clogged by the high-fat comfort food of advertising are being cleansed by a regimen of members, followers, supporters and benefactors. The refreshed heart embraces risk, antidote for every evil.
Itís been an exciting time for fake news. Designated two months ago the 2017 word of the year, fake news has moved from strength to strength. Not only is everybody talking about it, fake news purveyors are revelling in their dark basements. Being a post-modern cultural icon requires dedication and more, just like bitcoin.
Those who reign supreme in the digital realm see things differently. It is the lofty perch, the money, the power, not to forget pizza on demand. Clear air is everywhere, turbulence under control. They eat what they want. Betting on that bubble bursting is a fools game.
Pressure is on media/tech giants to do something about fake news, fake ads and every other fake thing. Applying the tourniquet are consumer protection advocates, advertising support groups, publishers, broadcasters and the politicians who love them. Big online providers, insisting they are but technology companies and never, ever, ever media providers, appear a bit disoriented. After all, the money keeps rolling in.
For every sporting event media coverage starts early in the season. The tempo rises to the pre-game shows; lots of shouting and waving. The event itself is almost parenthetical. Itís the post-game analysis where everybody tries to appear reasoned and sober. So it is, too, with elections.
A sharp eye is not needed to see a strong relationship between new media growth and repressed news environments. Or is it fragmented societies in anxious times seeking out information silos? Or is it opportunistic propagandists looking to tear apart civil societies? All of this, certainly, and thereís more to come. Some of it could actually be quite good.
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Social Media Matures (...believe it or not...)
Hundreds of millions use social media, billions even. It has spawned revolutions, excited investors and confounded traditional media. With all that attention a business model remains unclear or it's simply so different many can't see it. What is clear is that there's no turning back. 114 pages, PDF (July 2016)
The Privacy Issue
The privacy issue touches every aspect of media. From consumer protection and the rights of individuals to news coverage privacy is hotly debated. New media and old media stumble and the courts decide. ftm offers views from every side of the Privacy Issue. 68 pages. PDF (July 2014)
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Media in Spain - Diverse and Challenged – new
Media in Spain is steeped in tradition. yet challenged by diversity. Publishers hold great influence, broadcasters competing. New media has been slow to rise and business models for all are under stress. Rich in language and culture, Spain's media is reaching into the future and finding more than expected. 123 pages, PDF. January 2018
The Campaign Is On - Elections and Media
Elections campaigns are big media events. Candidates and issues are presented, analyzed and criticized in broadcast and print. Media is now more of a participant in elections than ever. This ftm Knowledge file reports on news coverage, advertising, endorsements and their effect on democracy at work. 84 pages. PDF (September 2017)
Fake News, Hate Speech and Propaganda
The institutional threat of fake news, hate speech and propaganda is testing the mettle of those who toil in news media. Those three related evils are not new, by any means, but taken together have put the truth and those reporting it on the back foot. Words matter. This ftm Knowledge file explores that light. 48 pages, PDF (March 2017)
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