Last night’s Tomorrow’s News 2017 event in New York featured a lively debate on the changing news landscape and what the future holds. Tomorrow’s News 2017 delved into Reuters exclusive survey results of reader trends on news consumption, featuring a panel discussion debating the findings. Edward Roussel, Chief Innovation Officer of the Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones; Brian Braiker, Editor of Advertising Age; Cory Haik, Publisher of Mic; and Christopher Graves, President of Ogilvy Center for Behavioral Science, joined Reuters Editor-at-Large Axel Threlfall for a lively discussion of fake news, trust, social media and consumer behavior and perceptions of news brands.
Among the highlights:
—Braiker noted that a lot of ads are going places that brands and advertisers have no control over and are lining the pockets of people producing fake news. “Brands are increasingly aware of this and the mainstream culture is more increasingly aware of this. So they’re working to implement checks and balances, increasing transparency” about where ads are going. “Until now it’s been a black box, and that’s sort of cracking open a little more.”
—On fake news, Graves said the danger is the repetition. “It’s not just one story. It’s the hammering and the reverberation and the repetition—it’s called an availability cascade. And if you keep seeing the same story coming back at you, you not only confirm your own bias, you begin to kind of think, ‘well, I’ve heard that before,’ whether it’s lying Ted, crooked Hillary or any meme that you create. So the weaponization through tech becomes so different from just having a false story.”
—Haik said facts and trust matter more than ever. “How do we expose the process of what we do, how do we help to make that more transparent to everyone? So that’s how we’re fighting the fight internally, and making sure that when we actually have some analysis or some opinion to share off of the news, that it’s very clear that we’re basing that in facts. This is not a moment to despair…this is the moment to do our jobs.”
—Roussel said “the barriers are coming down in a dangerous way at some news organizations, where they’re conflating opinion and news, and they have to be kept distinct; that if you’re reporting the news, it’s fundamental you’re getting the facts right, which is hard enough in itself, and you want to keep the opinion elsewhere.”
Reuters also unveiled Reuters Plus at the event, the award-winning full-service custom content studio that builds on 165 years of Reuters expertise and news infrastructure to deliver world-class content to brands and agencies. Click here to learn more about Reuters Plus.
You can follow more of the discussion on Twitter by searching #tomorrowsNews.
Heather dot Carpenter at thomsonreuters dot com
[Reuters PR Blog Post]