The wild west of automated news. A Medium collection
A year ago, I predicted that 2016 would be the year of Pinocchios and Pants on Fire. I said fact-checking would flourish, that seasonal players such as The New York Times would ramp up for the election and that candidates would often cite fact-checks to attack their opponents.
2017 is the year that philanthropy stops asking, “Why should we fund news and information?” and starts asking, “How do we get started?”
For years, funders have averted their eyes from the alarming loss of journalism jobs and coverage of local and state issues. This presidential election made it virtually impossible for them to ignore it any longer.
I rate my predictions Mostly True.
2017 is going to provide an interesting opportunity for news organizations, thanks to voice-activated personal home assistants. These unassuming small internet-connected devices are powered by evolving machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms, built to deliver relevant and credible news catered to an individual’s preferences. Through audio cues, news will become conversational providing a consumer the opportunity to build a personal relationship with a news organization: “Good morning. What’s happening in the world today?”
The music industry long ago discovered that their most devoted audiences were interested in experiences above and beyond just the track, and willing to pay the price which accompanied them. A 2010 New York Times piece details some standouts: $900 Eagles tickets that buy you dinner with the band, an $800 photo-op with Christina Aguilera, and $1,750 Bon Jovi tickets which allow you to take your seat home with you.
Forty-four percent of people shown a native ad couldn’t correctly identify the company that had paid for it, according to recent findings released by the content marketing firm Contently in partnership with the Tow-Knight Center at CUNY and Radius Global Market Research. Fifty-four percent of survey participants indicated that they had felt deceived by native advertising before. And 77 percent of survey participants didn’t even identify native ads as “advertising” — describing it either as “editorial content” (34 percent!) or a hybrid (43 percent). (Contently has done similar surveys and found similar results: that people misidentify native ads as news articles).
If you don’t use APIs in 2017, your media business will die.