Commentary

Social Media Has A Fake News Problem - And TV Could Help

Worried about “trust” in news organizations? Social media still scores low results next to traditional news media, even as people are using it heavily for news.

But when it comes to paying for that traditional news content on digital subscription platforms, it's a no-go.

A new survey says social media efforts only registered a trustful 37% score, according to Kantar -- versus printed newspapers (75%); magazines (74%); 24-hour news channels (67%); or radio (61%).

Kantar says 85% of Americans cite Facebook as the top news source on social media.

Kantar added: “Americans want news to remain free to access, believing that media outlets still get enough ad revenue to support themselves.” Research shows that 72% of Americans say they haven’t paid for any kind of news content online in the past year, and 56% don’t pay for online news (via a subscription fee) because they can access it for free.

Just 8% say they will pay for unbiased and independent journalism, and 21% say news organizations can support themselves from online advertising.

All this means more traffic for social media and its news content -- especially Facebook and Twitter, which garner high engagement of their users for news. But it may include a broader range of digital/online platforms, such as traditional news media -- TV networks' websites and long-time print media digital areas.

Is there any quality/consumer fee equation for news viewers causing concern? We have ubiquitous mobile devices, laptops/desktop companies (at work and home) that can access news all day.

So why haven’t some nefarious parties found ways to infiltrate TV news contents — advertising or otherwise? Possibly because of TV networks' ad controls -- which make it harder -- and cost, TV ads are more expensive.

Russian trolls only spent $100,000 to get into big social-media sites through advertising. (Fake accounts posting other non-paying content is another matter.) TV advertising -- at any significant scale -- can easily run into the millions.

If you thought social media couldn’t compete with traditional TV, it has found a way.

1 comment about "Social Media Has A Fake News Problem - And TV Could Help".
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  1. Chuck Lantz from 2007ac.com, 2017ac.com network, October 30, 2017 at 3:27 p.m.

    I get a bit nervous anytime I see the words "surveys show" unless I can see who did the survey, who was surveyed, and most importantly, what questions were asked. 

    I'm on a ton of survey lists, and one question that pops-up a lot is "where do you get your news?"  The problem is that this question is always a way-too-basic multiple choice, including "online" or "social media."  What that simple question omits is the very real possibility that those being surveyed could be getting a perfectly legitimate link to, for example, the BBC or Reuters, through a social media outlet. 

    But since the question only mentions "social media", it could reasonably be assumed that the "news" being consumed originates from some crazy guy who lives in his mom's garage, or a not-so-crazy guy working in a large troll farm in Uzbekistan. In short, one person's social media is not necessarily the same as yours or mine. 

    ... or at least that's what it said in a survey I read. 

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