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Nick Clegg Is Not Well Informed About Journalism



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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in British English
expunct (ɪkˈspʌŋkt)
VERB (transitive)
1. to delete or erase; blot out; obliterate
2. to wipe out or destroy

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