Summary of Facebook Is Eating the World

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Emily Bell, director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia Journalism School, examines how social media platforms are reshaping journalism. Her comprehensive analysis considers the potential of news publishers merging with social media platforms. Bell draws grim conclusions about reporting’s future as she looks at publications’ risks of increased dependence on external platforms and their loss of access to their distribution chain and their readers. getAbstract finds her article illuminating for journalists, publishers and readers.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How social media platforms affect news distribution and
  • What risks publishers face due to their growing dependency on social media.
 

About the Author

Emily Bell directs the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia Journalism School. She is the 2015-2016 Humanitas Visiting Professor in Media  at the University of Cambridge.

 

Summary

Social media platforms are “swallowing” journalism, creating imminent threats for publishers and readers. This takeover has gone largely unnoticed and unchecked in the “public sphere.” The “news ecosystem has changed more dramatically in the past five years than perhaps at any time in the past 500.” Chat apps, news bots, virtual reality, video streaming and messaging have changed the way people receive and interact with the news. These changes pose enormous potential, but also “existential risks.” The Internet, on one hand, helps journalists undertake important work; on the other hand, the web makes it difficult to earn a decent living.


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