Get Real: Digital Media Should Run Local TV News

Facebook, Twitter and Google, just put down those potential news stories and do what you do best: Get of the way and let professionals take the wheel -- and/or oversight. In-house journalists, news producers and editors are not your forte.

Twitter made the honorable decision last week to stop the spread of iffy information by broadcasting local TV news programs about the tragedy at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

A Twitter executive said last week: “We're continuing to work on new ways we can surface credible [emphasis added] content and relevant information to help people stay informed.”

For many, this may sound like big digital media is giving up. But it is also a recognition of what it can’t do: serious news journalism.

For big digital media players, this will help appease queasy TV advertisers when it comes to their iffy brand safety performance.



Of course, this doesn’t solve all problems. All kinds of content -- pseudo-program/editorial content, fake-ish advertising content -- will still appear on these platforms.

Social-media posts attached to these live broadcasts will continue to elicit some inappropriate, manipulated responses. Many experts say there is no way to keep all dubious information from consumers.

Opinions? Commentary? All that highly charged stuff on cable TV? It should be clearly labelled -- as best as it can -- so advertisers and consumers know what they are watching.

Local TV news programs promote the value of local TV. Twitter just realized it is more credible than anything else out there.

Digital media platforms don’t just need to hire “humans” to weed out bad content from the good, as they have previously announced. They need to hire retired reporters, journalism professors and other media pros to identify it. 

This story -- like many news stories -- never really ends.

2 comments about "Get Real: Digital Media Should Run Local TV News".
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  1. Steve Beverly from Union Broadcasting System, February 19, 2018 at 2:01 p.m.

    Or, Wayne, what about a hybrid.....people like me who are retired news directors/reporters and active journalism professors.

  2. brian ring from ring digital llc, February 19, 2018 at 3:46 p.m.

    Just brilliant, Wayne. Great piece!

    Paul, Steve, I think Wayne's inclusion of the word 'retired' was just a way of pro-actively defeating the Facebook excuse that they 'can't find the talent pool to scale up that kind of operation'.

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