Home Journalism Nick Clegg Is Not Well Informed About Journalism

Nick Clegg Is Not Well Informed About Journalism

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As we know Nick Clegg is paid $1 million a year and up – depends upon his stock awards – to shill for Facebook. There are some clever people at that company and someone them should stage an intervention. Because he needs a certain amount of help with his logic here.

Firstly, there is no logical requirement for Facebook, or any other industry disruptor, to ensure that the old ways continue or survive. That’s not quite the point of industry disruption after all. But more than that, try this for size:

If publishers were paid every time they posted an article, or every time someone clicked on one, it would incentivise clickbait, sensationalism and volume over high quality journalism. It would also favour bigger publishers with the resources to pump out masses of stories.

Well, no. It works the other way around. Any individual and specific piece of news gets to compete on that level playing field. Which gives the small operator an equal chance with the large. As someone who has written for places desperate to get Facebook virality going – and succeeding at times – this was at least the joy of the Facebook method. Half a million, sometimes even a million, pageviews could be achieved by some no name site if the story was good enough.

So he’s got that part wrong to start with. Then he tells us that instead of that we should have this:

Facebook News, which launches in the UK on Tuesday, is a result of those conversations. This is a big shift in Facebook’s approach to journalism – a dedicated place within the Facebook app featuring news from national outlets including The Telegraph Media Group, The Guardian, Financial Times, Daily Mail Group, Sky News, Channel 4 News, The Economist, The Mirror, The Independent, hundreds of local news sites, and lifestyle ones including GQ, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Vogue and many more.

They’re going to increase the irruption of the upstarts by limiting what is presented to the established of the industry. This is like promoting mammals by saving dinosaurs.

Seriously, Facebook contains some bright people – they can do better than this, can’t they?

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8 COMMENTS

  1. “within the Facebook app”

    Plus, these sort of people are losing it over the whole fundamental point of the internet. Which is that you do *NOT* need somebody else’s software, just a local client on your local machine. Not a separate piece of software for every single data source.

    “Have you got a Facebook app?”
    “Yes, it’s called Firefox”

  2. “Social media has changed how people consume journalism and it’s our job to try to maintain its quality”

    The problem is that it ain’t really there. The local Facebook groups are better than the old local newspaper. What did people used to do? They called a journalist up. They wrote the story. Now, people do this themselves. The analysis in blogs is superior to the newspapers.

    And all of these guys want to take Facebook down, so why are they helping them?

  3. Yes, I’m looking for a piece in the Telegraph proclaiming how the Mirror will promote quality journalism. Or vice versa.
    I’m guessing that both Facebook and MEN are worried about their future and are teaming up.

  4. Tee hee hee, we just got another layer of gatekeeping.

    Or the start of the final consolidation of a dying industry?

    Start sweating boys, the interns aren’t getting paid.

  5. a dedicated place within the Facebook app featuring news from national outlets including The Telegraph Media Group, The Guardian, Financial Times, Daily Mail Group, Sky News, Channel 4 News, The Economist, The Mirror, The Independent, hundreds of local news sites, and lifestyle ones including GQ, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Vogue and many more.

    Dinosaurs in a desperate search for relevance in an age when they have been effectively disintermediated. The fact that this is an initiative by Farcebook doesn’t alter their irrelevance. Farcebook is one of the first Internet media giants that I expect to fail, since its essentially just a website that spies on people. Advertisers aside, who wants that bollocks?

    • Facebook is entertainment for people who don’t want to sit on a couch eating chips and drinking beer passively taking it all in. It’s meeting people we wouldn’t encounter otherwise. It’s having uncomfortable views thrust in our face which is a pleasant experience otherwise horror movies wouldn’t be top box office would they. It’s information and best of all it’s interactive in such a way that the loudmouthed bores in a spoken conversation who talk right through you, can’t drown you out. I agree that the quality of the product has dropped considerably in the last year, now that loudmouthed opinionated bores are trying to shut us up, but it’s still so flexible that we can make of it what we want.

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