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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.

What should social media do about fake news and online abuse?

At an RTS event about social media and television, Facebook’s Patrick Walker addressed the charge that his company had done little to stop these stories spreading.

‘We are a platform – we see ourselves first and foremost as a technology company. The mission we have is to connect people and make the world more connected, which is about sharing information,’ he said.

Why social media needs TV

News of television’s death is premature, heard a relieved RTS audience, who were assured that the US tech giants – Facebook, YouTube and Twitter – were TV’s partners, not predators.

“Television is amazingly resilient – the great thing about it, is that it’s very adaptable. It’s always been good at seizing the opportunities that new technology brings,” said YouTube’s Stephen Nuttall at the RTS early-evening event in November, “Social media muscles in on TV”.

Full Session: Social Media Muscles in on TV

Networks such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are now an integral part of the UK’s video landscape. What are the implications of their growth, not just for viewers, but for content creators, traditional broadcasters and advertisers?

An expert panel, chaired by Kate Bulkley, discussed the subject at our 'Social Media Muscles in on TV' event. The panel included Dara Nasr, Managing Director, Twitter, UK; Stephen Nuttall, Senior Director, EMEA, YouTube and Patrick Walker, Director of Media Partnerships, EMEA, Facebook.