Thursday, February 16, 2017

Let's Face it

Channel 4 News editor Ben de Pear makes some good points in an interview with The Drum.

“A proper news organisation can't earn enough money off Facebook to wash its face......Facebook say that they are not a media company [but] I believe they are and that, with the amount of money they are making and the power and influence they have, they have to accept responsibility.”

The article claims that Channel 4 videos online had 2 billion views last, many of them driven by coverage of Syria. “We had 300 million views of our stuff from Aleppo but there were 100 million other views for people who stole it off us and those people could do what they wanted with it. A lot of it was in Arabic or Russian and a lot of it could be distorted.”

“For every pound fake news has earned for the fake news publisher, Facebook has made at least the same amount of money”.Only 12 of C4 News' 130 staff are solely devoted to digital journalism. de Pear notes that the BBC "have a slightly bigger team… I think they have 3,000 people working on digital”.

There are questions for the BBC to answer about its current obsession with Facebook [net income 2016 - $10bn]. This year has seen new BBC Facebook pages, myriad Facebook 'lives' and videos made specially for Facebook. Is the Corporation getting any money back ? Should it ? How much journalistic effort is devoted to Facebook output, in staff or hours ? Which bit of the new Charter says "We really want you to get out there and monster this Facebook thing" ?

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