Facebook

Social Media Muscles in on TV

The way we access content is fundamentally changing.  Shorter-form content continues to grow apace and, at the same time, viewing is fragmenting across myriad devices and screens.  Helping drive this change has been the emergence of a new generation of distribution platforms that blend professional video, user generated content and social media.

Lord Puttnam: We need regulation to curb data capitalism

Lord Puttnam (Credit: RTS/Paul Hampartsoumian)

In a high-concept, passionate RTS lecture, illustrated by film clips and quotes from such 20th century giants as John Maynard Keynes and Bob Dylan, Puttnam mounted a passionate case for media regulation to curb the excesses of “data capitalism.”

“Tech monopolies (Google, Amazon, Facebook) are taking over the internet. A pernicious form of corporatism could, under the wrong set of circumstances, replace democracy as we have known and enjoyed it,” he said.

It was “nonsense” that these companies were too big to regulate.  

Channel 4 News' Jon Snow hits out at social media giant Facebook

The Channel 4 News anchor called for journalists and their recruiters to leave their bubble in order to widen the awareness and understanding of people outside the media elite.

Snow said that the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy had exposed a shameful lack in awareness of issues facing those on lower incomes.

In a moving speech, Snow spoke of the guilt he felt when confronted by the survivors of the Grenfell disaster who asked broadcasters “where were you? Why didn’t you come here before?”

Event report: Is targeted advertising the future of TV?

Many broadcasters are convinced that targeted advertising is a silver bullet. They claim it will help level the playing field with Google and Facebook and so future-proof their businesses.

But at a packed RTS early-evening event, 'Is targeted advertising the future of TV?', it became clear that the debate over smart advertising’s role in commercial TV is more nuanced than that. It is conceivable that internet-­delivered, personalised ads aimed at individuals will one day be as commonplace as driverless vehicles are expected to be.

It's time for the tech giants to admit they are media companies

Imagine that a broadcaster reaching over 1 billion people a day is making billions of pounds of profits every year, partly by distributing news coverage that includes numerous mistakes.

Imagine, too, that, when the broadcaster is called to account, its first proposed solution to the problem is to send out a message to viewers entitled “tips for spotting false news”. The first of the 10 tips is: “Be sceptical of headlines”.

The chances are that the broadcaster would be told that its so-called “new educational tool against misinformation” was hardly a satisfactory remedy.

The fight against fake news

Any politician who uses the words ‘fake news’ to describe something they don’t like from their opponent should be assaulted verbally by people in their own party and fellow parliamentarians – we have to fight for language,” Nick Robinson told an RTS early-evening event discussing false news and alternative facts.

At the event in late February, chaired by former ITN chief executive Stewart Purvis, Robinson argued for the continuation of “impartiality as a legal requirement for television news”.

What is the future for honest journalism in an era of Fake News?

Robinson, a presenter on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, argued for “impartiality as a legal requirement for television news”. Without it, as in the US where “right wingers watch Fox News and liberals watch MSNBC”, he continued, “there are no shared facts. Good public policy decision-making requires shared facts.”

“What Facebook does, and what separate news channels for different opinions do, is give people the possibility to have their own facts,” added Robinson, a former political editor at both ITV News and the BBC.