Meeting readers where they are: Being smart about 'off platform'
Remember the old days when the news got to you by hand? Someone would sell the newspaper on the street or deliver it to your place. Nowadays, news is everywhere. The news platform is no longer the newspaper, the news site or the news app; most commonly people get informed on social media or searching for a topic on Google.
The model of news consumption is constantly changing and the rules are set not by the news providers, but by popular third parties, such as Google or Facebook. Most news organizations play catch up with the latest algorithm trying to stay on top of the conversation or even just contribute a small share of the discussion. A news story could be good, but get buried if not featured on social media or rank high on search engines.
This model imposes several problems and implications:
- It creates echo chambers
- The loudest voice is the one that often gets shared
- Fosters fake news or propaganda
- Readers don’t get to experience different angles of a developing news story
- News organizations are left reeling with the technical, ethical and monetary implications of having news spread everywhere.
Here’s a radical idea: How can the news organizations gain back control of how the conversation shapes off-platform? How can they make third party content platforms work for them instead of the other way around? And most importantly, how can newsrooms use off-platform content sharing to reach a more diverse audience? This is what we will explore in this session.