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Reading List for “Breaking the News” Conference | The Open Markets Institute

By The Open Markets Institute
June 13, 2018

The New Gatekeepers: Journalism in the age of Platform Monopoly

The Platform Press: How Silicon Valley Reengineered Journalism
Emily Bell & Taylor Owen, Tow Center for Digital Journalism

The influence of social media platforms and technology companies is having a greater effect on American journalism than even the shift from print to digital. There is a rapid takeover of traditional publishers’ roles by companies including Facebook, Snapchat, Google, and Twitter that shows no sign of slowing, and which raises serious questions over how the costs of journalism will be supported. These companies have evolved beyond their role as distribution channels, and now control what audiences see and who gets paid for their attention, and even what format and type of journalism flourishes.

Who Owns the Internet?
Elizabeth Kolbert, The New Yorker

As in the eighteen-seventies, we are in the midst of a technological revolution that has altered the flow of information. Now, as then, just a few companies have taken control, and this concentration of power—which Americans have acquiesced to without ever really intending to, simply by clicking away—is subverting our democracy.

The platform patrons: How Facebook and Google became two of the biggest funders of journalism in the world
Mathew Ingram, Columbia Journalism Review

Taken together, Facebook and Google have now committed more than half a billion dollars to various journalistic programs and media partnerships over the past three years, not including the money spent internally on developing media-focused products like Facebook’s Instant Articles and Google’s competing AMP mobile project. The result: These mega-platforms are now two of the largest funders of journalism in the world. The irony is hard to miss. The dismantling of the traditional advertising model—largely at the hands of the social networks, which have siphoned away the majority of industry ad revenue—has left many media companies and journalistic institutions in desperate need of a lifeline. Google and Facebook, meanwhile, are happy to oblige, flush with cash from their ongoing dominance of the digital ad market.

Source: Reading List for “Breaking the News” Conference | Tow Center for Digital Journalism

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