REPORT: Platforms become publishers

Picture: Platform by Paul Wicks, licence: CC BY-SA 2.0

The Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University has published a report about the convergence between journalism and platform companies. 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, write the authors Emily Bell, of Tow Center, and Taylor Owen, of University of British Columbia.

The report is the result of an ongoing research for the Platforms and Publishers project. Here are some key findings:

Technology platforms have taken on most of the functions of news organizations, such as publishing, and many news organizations are likely to give up on publishing as a core activity. By offering incentives to news organizations for particular types of content, such as live video, the social platforms shape the journalism itself. The structure and the economics of social platforms tempt to spread low-quality content over high-quality material. The algorithms etc. are a mystery to the audience, so greater transparency and accountability are required from platform companies.

The report “The Platform Press: How Silicon Valley reengineered journalism” is available on The Tow Center for Digital Journalism website here.

Picture: Platform by Paul Wicks, licence: CC BY-SA 2.0

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