The top tech companies such as Google and Facebook all Pledged to spend millions refining its local news feeds and to help combat fake news. But was it enough?
The results of a new survey on how much people trust the quality of news has been published today. The most popular and trusted sources of news are local papers with 86% of the public saying they are not influenced by national or foreign news, and just 14% admitting to being influenced by it. However, of those who follow politics, only a small percentage trust the news and almost two thirds of those said they were influenced by international news. The research also indicates that ‘The public see an urgent need for journalism that can spark discussion and be trusted’.
What is Google doing for local news?
Last week, Facebook, Google, and Twitter all announced that they will invest hundreds of millions of dollars to develop innovative ways to improve local news. The goal of their “local news partnerships” is to help local news organizations “be more agile, grow revenue faster, and find sustainable business models.” The three tech giants were making this announcement just a few weeks after Facebook announced it would be prioritizing local news in users’ feeds over fake news or more controversial news. Earlier this year, they had changed their algorithm, and more people began seeing fewer local news posts. Twitter will also be working with local news organizations to find new ways to promote more local news and breaking news.
What is Facebook doing for local news?
Although I have only been writing a few articles for The Local Food Box, I have been involved in my own local food-related groups on Facebook for the last few years. The majority of the growth in food and farming information has gone to the social media platform rather than to a dedicated website or even to specialist magazines. On Facebook, local sources can reach huge audiences. I am pleased that Facebook is now working with third-party fact-checkers to identify and flag up fake news articles. I am also pleased that they are also working on promoting local news stories in their news feeds, along with their Community Boost adverts (to encourage users to visit their local stores or public spaces). But, Facebook is far from doing enough.
What should Google and Facebook be doing for local news?
Seemingly, they’ve pledged $300 million each in their latest round of funding for local news, which will supposedly go towards fact-checking, among other things. While there’s some validity in their plan, what can they really do to help local news thrive? Here’s what they can do to help and not much else. What We Can Expect from Google and Facebook Not much. Google, a company that might sometimes seem too powerful, can’t really support local news well due to their focus on traffic and online advertising. Google isn’t going to be dropping a bunch of cash into any news operation that doesn’t provide a measurable, positive return on investment.
The U.S. has had its share of fake news that takes many forms in the local news. Whether it’s statements made by political figures which don’t hold up to actualities or that are made to sway a certain voting bloc, this kind of fake news has become all too prevalent. Fortunately, I had the opportunity to attend the recent Online News Association conference and present on this very topic. Online News Association While there are a lot of concerns in the area of fake news, these companies are stepping up to the plate and are trying to do something to help and fix it. What I personally found interesting is that they have entered into a pact to make sure that the truth is coming through in the news feeds. They have all signed the Local News Innovation Pledge and it’s a big commitment.