Every Friday, The Big Smoke looks at industry news curated by MediaScope. This week we look at how the media business model paved the way for Trump and monetising the tide of yellow journalism.
The shift in media’s business model played a vital role in Trump’s victory (Frederic Filloux – MondayNote)
About ten years ago, the new breed of digital publishers started to change the news cycle’s pace. Speed and reactivity became the norm. Spurred by a fear of falling behind, under pressure from advertisers and readers, legacy media jumped on that train.
That fear was amplified by a dual management failure both on the newsroom and revenue sides with the damage now being done. And we are still paying the price for that terrible choice jointly made by publishers and advertisers.
The mediasphere suddenly singles out fake stories on Facebook as a key culprit in Trump’s win. It played a role, that much is certain. We can even expect that, someday, Facebook will pull its head from the sand and start acting responsibly. But the fact remains that mainstream media and their twisted economics can’t exonerate themselves from their own shortcomings. They need to rethink a business model that rewards robust journalism.
The role of media technology in the Presidential Election (The Economist)
Mr Trump’s data team identified a path to victory through rural voters redoubling campaign efforts and betting this would erase polling deficits in traditionally Democrat-leaning states.
But if any technology helped Mr Trump win, it was social media rather than data science. He and Steve Bannon, his controversial campaign boss and now his chief strategist, understood how the Facebook and Twitter-driven media landscape worked. Whether a piece of news spreads online does not depend on whether it is true and coherent, but whether it is surprising, shocking and confirms prejudices. It can bounce endlessly in virtual echo-chambers – even if it is patently false.
This phenomenon is particularly pronounced on Facebook, whose algorithms are tuned to maximise “engagement”, meaning they present users with the type of content they have already been shown to like in order to keep them on the site as long as possible and comment on it or share it. “Trump and his camp essentially hacked Facebook’s algorithm.”
Trump’s win has ad agencies rethinking how they collect data and recruit staff (Alexandra Bruell and Suzanne Vranica – Wall Street Journal)
Advertisers are grappling with a stark realisation: After spending years courting US consumers with aspirational images of upscale urban living, they may have misjudged the yearnings of much of their audience.
In the wake of Donald Trump’s election as US president with a wave of support from middle American voters, advertisers are reflecting on whether they are out of touch with the same people – rural, economically frustrated, elite-distrusting, anti-globalisation voters – who propelled the businessman into the White House. Mr Trump’s rise has them rethinking the way they collect data about consumers, recruit staff and pitch products.
Also on The Big Smoke
- The week in Media: 11th November 2016
- The week in Media: 4th November 2016
- The week in Media: 28th October 2016
For the new yellow journalists opportunity comes in clicks and bucks (Terrence McCoy – Washington Post)
At a time of continuing discussion over the role that hyperpartisan websites, fake news and social media play in the divided America of 2016, LibertyWritersNews illustrates how websites can use Facebook to tap into a surging ideology, quickly go from nothing to influencing millions of people and make big profits in the process.
The ultimate marketing machine (Marc de Swaan Arons, Frank van der Driest and Keith Weed – Harvard Business Review)
In the past decade, what marketers do to engage customers has changed almost beyond recognition. With the possible exception of information technology, we can’t think of another discipline that has evolved so quickly. Tools and strategies that were cutting-edge just a few years ago are fast becoming obsolete, and new approaches are appearing every day.
Yet in most companies the organisational structure of the marketing function hasn’t changed since the practice of brand management emerged, more than 40 years ago. Hidebound hierarchies from another era are still commonplace.