This article dropped at the perfect time for us: in this week’s episode (linked below) we discuss the fading fortunes of TalkTV in the UK. In particular we ask to what extent its success or failure is tied to that of its most advertised host Piers Morgan, a man whose supposed appeal to viewers was his outspokenness.
This writeup from the Hollywood Reporter takes a look at the blurring of the lines between news anchors and entertainers: “The business of agents turning anchors into A-listers is being boosted by growth in social media and the rise of digital media and podcasts.” Effectively, news anchors are incentivised to be opinionated.
But what does that actually say about how the public sees news outlets? That blurring has implications for trust in the media in general. I don’t necessarily think it’s a bad thing – I’ve said that journalists need to be as transparent about their own beliefs as possible. But if that crosses over into being partisan for its own sake, that’s when we could run into trouble.
It’s very hard not to read this as a post-mortem on a news outlet that delivered upon the promise of digital pureplay news. Now BuzzFeed News’ investigations unit is disbanding and dropping its last bombshells, even as a scaled-back news division seeks its next editor in chief.
That’s some fantastic alliteration there. This is a great look at how the rise of social audio spaces allows Washington Post reporters to provide nuance and insights into stories and the journalistic process to engage audiences.
It’s pretty much a given at the moment that platforms are too influential in how news is presented and disseminated online. This new report – which argues that platforms’ control will only grow as AI becomes a bigger part of the news industry – won’t reassure anyone.
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