Journalists step in where platforms have no answers

PTI, Feb 14, 2022, 1:13 PM IST

London:  Google and Facebook are hoping to improve their news algorithms to provide a more balanced view. Media industry initiatives could have the solution they need.

All your news is curated by unseen hands. Content moderation and content curation measures are two sides of the same coin, and they sit at the heart of digital intermediary services.

Soft behavioral nudges behind those measures can channel Google Search and Facebook audience choices in one direction or the other, through processes that law expert Karen Yeung describes as “subtle, unobtrusive yet extraordinarily powerful”.

Questions about which content the public should see have always been part of media and communication discussions. Newsrooms and parliaments alike echo debates about free speech and what content is in the ‘public interest’.

And while governments mull how to intervene with the digital giants to preserve democratic institutions and provide diverse, trustworthy news to the public, the media industry is attempting to address the problem from within.

News organizations around the world are advancing principles and criteria that could define who “public interest news providers” are. One of the leading examples is the Journalism Trust Initiative (JTI) in Europe.

It started as a collaborative standard setting process, according to the guidelines of the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN), led by Reporters Without Borders, and supported by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), Agence France Presse.

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