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Read this: #87: Hello Old Friends At Facebook; Goodbye Old Friends At Buzzfeed - The Media Podcast with Olly Mann

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#87: Hello Old Friends At Facebook; Good…

Hello and welcome to the media podcast I'm only met this week competition concerns scupper Murdoch's reach for the sky you algorithms at Facebook a poise to sort the world so sweet from the fake Newchurch what future for original online journalism is redundancies kill the buzz feed and it's a game of guess who in this week's Media quiz all that more coming up on this edition of the media podcast recording in the meeting room at runvt this week in the part of town north of Soho known to those in the know as NoHo and to everybody else on my train from Baldock this morning as London at joining me it's too still works of the mediapad managing director of something else Steve Ackerman hello hello Annie do we say happy new year still here if you want to I've done it and media writer statue.

What's the word? You like veteran is the one you like yes Maggie Brown now before you get onto this week's burning topics as it is.

Till January apparently the statute of limitations on our predictions has not yet elapse.

I'm just gonna ask you for one each Maggie if you had one big prediction for the year ahead.

I've been Citroen by the whole move on a murderous a decision to actually sell out to Disney.

I just don't know what to knit it to expect next that's the mirror and politics.

That's more than that.

It's a huge global changes in the media which of which were tiny little clubs and watching here from wonderful Islands really so I feel quite sudden reticent really good production and I would say that one thing we can be certain of his that there will be more equality of pay between men and women doing the same job at the BBC predictions on last week.

So you actually read them out, but I'm guessing you won't remember what they were now.

I think I said newspapers would continue to struggle with you say that I would definitely said I think and we'll probably quite significant piece of content or do something in the content space the what do you mean you mean a sort of big ITV Saturday night show my life as anything ranging from potentially huge online series 2 yet, potentially atv4 mean we will be seeing it to a degree because formats like love Island are ultimately funded by motion content which is Which is a group and you also said radio broadcaster office in order to create their own podcast.

Yes, if you had to choose one of the three what's the big moon prediction you gonna go with Steve I'm actually let's see if that comes first up inevitable eat Sky this week for competition and markets authority said in a provisional finding the 21st century fox's acquisition of the 61% of Sky it doesn't already own would give the Murdoch family too much.

Control over news providers across all media platforms and therefore too much influence over public opinion in the political agenda, so in other words Maggie this wasn't about reputation.

It was purely about news plurality of basic about Sky News situation because this particular pro which off, said it could go ahead it was then passed on to the ccma as you said but of course at that point everybody thought that we were in a simple acquisition of the 61 percenters sky that's fine for century and the middle family to the control didn't own but of course in the meantime.

What's happened is this is extraordinary revelation that Murdoch intends to basically sell out of all of his entertainment businesses while this is a blip to that move which is a strategic part of what the big deal is it doesn't actually stuff at the end ill if something can be?

To change the ownership structure of 21st century and Sky and Sky News so it puts I think the people at Sky News or 500 of them in a kind of rather difficult unpleasant uncertain situation because I'm not sure really who the ultimate owner's going to be because as part of all of this we all know that Disney is required Natalie through with this purchase of of 21st Century Fox in which case it is becomes the ultimate owner of Sky News assuming it once Sky News is it's a kind of J1 Sky News so you know on the one hand ironically the government is basically saying we prefer Disney own Sky News then there wouldn't be an issue by implication you know if Murdoch own.

Is it? There's a problem if he doesn't there probably isn't but actually we know that Murdoch like Sky News cos he created it.

We have absolutely no idea at all where the Disney were keeping away and interesting yesterday on the media show radio 4 in a John whittingdale was saying that it would be absolutely.

Magic if anything happened to Sky News and my opinion is that since 89 when it began it has been a huge forceful actually good in in British television news and it's brought a different kind of flavour and energy from the plurality of the irony.

Isn't it? Yes if Sky News ends up getting axed so that Murdoch can pass a plurality test will have fewer news at some point.

I always tend to judge on the royal television Society am using current affairs Awards which are happening in in February one of the very strong short listed candidates for in investigative journalism is actually I'm a Sky News journalist who has exposed a particular a scandal over a drug called primer dos.

He don't own it at the moment.

You know looking at the evidence were they right to say there would be a problem allowing Rupert Murdoch effectively and his family to control 100% of Sky News as well as the sun and the X wireless ready.

I think probably yes even with that because I think that there's just this uncertainty now about the the way in which it would you know it would play out given that some we have seen a quite a lot of problems really over the whole the whole Murdoch involvement free hacking you know the deal with being a proving.

It was going to be a nishan.

So you can go what's changed in the landscape since then and what strange like the only one left newspapers, but there are a lot more radio steyne radio stations in a way that they didn't before including of course speech radio stations that some of some of which nuz so I wonder if that's what's tipped tipped the balance in terms of the, Germany is interesting you know you're quite right this this issue.

That is Sky News closing down.

That's actually to the detriment probably of the of the British Public because and especially because I think along with everything you said my Gilly

True innovation to the way they covered come the news I mean let's not forget read the BBC starting a rolling news channel was very much in reaction to Sky not this is one that's concerning me and this is why I feel so unsure about this anybody has taken a longer view over the media over the few decades will know that Europe is not particularly.

Keen on Disney and so you do wonder quite what the European Union is going to say over Disney owning a large pay television chunk with Europe if you ask me is it all going to be stitched up and clear this time next year.

I wouldn't be 100% sure because remember this whole Move by Fire by Murdoch started in January 2016 so with two years out about Facebook Mark Zuckerberg is announced changes to the way users receive news on their timeline Stephen explained basically.

What's happened is a shift from business towards friends and family isn't it? What is aki.

Changing the algorithm as being fed by news organisations or brands will become less obvious for you when you first when you first go into Facebook and clearly.

This is trying to stay one step ahead of ice I think probably trying to avoid the regulation bullets and all the pressure that has occurred around fake news in and concerns about foreign governments had an influence and also I think the way that some brands have become very very savvy in terms of how they can work around the algorithm to ensure that they obviously can be as prominent as possible so do you think then that Mark Zuckerberg personally is being disingenuous when he says he wants to improve the service and return it back to what it used to be you know that actually.

This is a bit of cynical window dressing for a bunch of issues that are coming down the well.

I'm not sure I'd use away disingenuous, but you know if you look at the correct record.

This is a very very intelligent man and it's a fantastic organisation in terms of they are smart people and

And you can see the way the tide is going in a we're talking on the day that Theresa May's speaking in Davos somebody speaking about today.

She's speaking about the way terrorist groups and their paedophile groups are able to to easily get onto social networks and feed of nation and that government have to start cracking down this and regulating but it's not overwhelmingly a brilliant thing is it make if you're a media company and your content now can't reach the people whom you've been talking over a number of years because this ecosystems evolved suddenly overnight.

You can't reach them anymore addition to being trying to reach the first place is what I would say young people I made that's been the problem.

I'm in there are many examples of I can think of one very good one actually since I'm the history of Channel 4 I can tell you that the Ofcom has put huge pressure on Channel 4 News to make sure that it actually is is is connecting with younger?

Audiences and their solution they tried all sorts of Solutions since 2010 but the solution was actually to put edited short versions of their big stories on on Facebook can they had huge huge success there are examples where organisations have been pushed really into releasing things on Facebook because they they feel they have to follow the audience when maybe perhaps that isn't necessarily the wisest thing to do surely look what's going on.

Come on.

Let's get real about this.

It's just very difficult for the social media networks actually to cope with all of this as a rush of and how did a separate between fake news and real news and and the quality of the provider and and what is actually going on on their platforms and then I would have thought Mark Zuckerberg has taken quite a cynical decision Reddit Justice understand back and say to hell with it.

We never used to be this we were here really as a social network and my goodness me a lot of people like it because they're connecting with their friends are showing them photographs.

And you know brands can very easily exploit all these young people who want to buy lots of consumer goods anyway and services and everything else think first of all this isn't the end of news networks on Facebook now.

It is still going to be fairly easy to seek out the information you want the point as it's just not directly it is not so obviously fed to you, but also if your Facebook it's sensible that you got a powerful brand you protect that Brand and you know the sense of sort of fake news and Influence has become really one of the key themes of the part of the past 4 years.

It is toxic absolutely that's right and and we seen some of the other social networks really struggle to get to grips with this and going to Facebook are they are the leaders when are the concerned about is that this isn't the end of branded content and news content on the newsfeed of ordinary users.

It's just aydah prioritising about content and the stuff that gets prioritise.

Just as a fraction less of what used to will be the stuff that gets the most comments at rather than the most.

Likes to the algorithm used I like now.

It's a mixture of likes and comments.

I still don't see how that addresses the Katie Hopkins problem that the more controversial the thing is that your putting out and the more credible source you are better, in other words the MailOnline for example.

That's the style still surface onto everyone's timeline not the stuff that comes from Les well-funded may be more cautious news outlets.

I think you're right and it and it is an issue in I'm not quite sure what the answer is.

I'm not sure necessarily that Facebook know the answer in the sense of me now.

We know that the history of Facebook along with the other social networks as well has been constant innovation and constantly trying things out and seeing what works and then obviously adjusting algorithms and and aux experience based on that.

I'm not sure they necessarily know all the answers to this but this but but this move buys them a lot more time with regulators and with government's weekly.

Index, which is tracking where people find reliable news and you see this big right now in people trusting newspapers and more conventional sources rather than a social media sites which have plummeted in respectability on as you might say or believability think when we were 10 years ago.

Everybody just madly dashing in thinking this was actually wonderful newspapers literally throwing themselves and their advertising into the arms of the social media giant we've all been through this do you remember people used to be absolutely critical if you suggested that there ought to be controls on what was actually being put on these sites.

You know it was it was a sort of attack on personal freedom and that has now changed and it's taking a long time for the penny to drop that these are actually quite dangerous wiki isn't it? Isn't one of the points at the heart of that they're obviously Godwin always used to be from Facebook and Twitter and everyone else we just the platform we just a place for.

Believe that anymore and I'm not sure necessarily you know the powers that be at these organisations feel they can justify that anymore either so one such news organisation that did such a mad rush into social media Maggie ketamine the Guardian I do we'll talk about that after this.

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Come to learn more in machines like me by Ian McEwan Britain has lost the Falklands War Margaret Thatcher battles Tony Benn for power and Alan Turing achieves breakthrough in artificial intelligence in World not quite like this one machines like me is this story of a roll of the question to the machine understand the human heart one of the finest writers alive Ian McEwan Returns in an exciting and audacious new note.

45 vintage if you're a fan of advertising your love this episode of the media podcast supported by run VT in the heart of Soho they have 15 offline Suites as well as 2 online sweets and a bass-like grading theatre.

That's not to mention the dubbing sweet and voice-over Booth which I just have if you need these facilities for your next TV show why not give runvt a call as we at Media podcast no you will be well looked after edit your next show at runvt go to run now and if you're interested in supporting the media podcast let us know via our website the media podcast The Guardian has turned tabloid this week with a reduction in size from the Berliner format write for the Guardian time-to-time.

What do you think?

Well, I think it's very welcome.

I think that they're cutting their coat according to the cloth to quote that old proverb because actually they're still losing quite a long money cheat code.

I think it was like a sensible coat working knightcote.

I don't it's particularly inspiring but it's clearly been very hard over if they were doing it because of the advertising market it would have been done in the autumn Before Christmas so I think it shows you where the Guardian kind of income is coming from which is essentially from subscriptions really and herb donations and a cup of price.

I think the daily is is ok.

I particularly like the Saturday package for that.

I was extremely disappointed with their new signing a service at Elena ferrante the Neapolitan novels which shall I turned to with great anticipation?

Concrete column and Charles the first one is going to be a tremendous sinus.

I didn't think that it works for the Observer so well unfortunately the Observer review was was fine, but I thought the paper itself is it's going to need a lot more energy if you have a tabloid form, you have to have quite a lot of energetic journalism to carry you through the pages and the Observer has got rather soft really needs more people and actually it needs now to up its investigations and it needs to really just go for it and thought of being on the shelf space next to the sun on Sunday though, did you see how the sun responded to the Guardian going tabloid from one tablet to another when they're op-ed piece.

Didn't it? Obviously taking great Delight in The Guardian

Give me tips on how it could ever think they weren't in there until didn't know about we can we give you a tip from One table to another that you should actually trying to create stories or chase stories or something.

I can't remember exactly but he is our suggestion for them to turn around their failing Fortunes actually report some exclusive rip-roaring stories.

We know that is an alien concept of them, but it might help them flogger.

Copy or to where we know they're not great bedfellows particularly as I think the it was the garden LED the charge on the on the phone hacking but for me that this is a crucial thing is with the business aspect which is another main reason.

They done this is to save costs and it's almost inexcusable that they've allow the situation of being so lost making to go on for so long.

They are not even at this point in time really to can break even answer question of getting the losses down, but I think it's 3/2 years into it and that they have made a lot of people redundant, but it's all it's been voluntary rather than necessarily the people who may be all to go.

And they have a clearly Cutler news paper newsprint bills.

They obviously good probably gonna do more in terms of their officers and other back-end cost so that they are and they're all so they got a different type of chair at the Scott Trust somebody and Alex Graham who's there an independent producer has made a lot of money hard-nosed businessman to and it got a hard-nosed chair of the of of the guardian news and Media Group so they are finally after I would say almost 10 years of drift coming into a kind of hopefully more profitable pastures a lot of people that had left the Guardian went to go and work and Janine Gibson at BuzzFeed didn't they in the UK she was actually look at the other candidate to become the editor of The of the Guardian itself and this week 24 journalists have left BuzzFeed in their round of redundancy.

At what do you make it that are not doing as well as they should have been doing and they were over staff for the impact that they were making and the revenue that they were getting one of the people who is Ridley has been on this property has very recently of this parish me when I looked at the list and I did actually correspond with one or two of them.

These are all excellent people and I'm sure that they will find very good jobs.

That works.

I mean you're in the business at something else of a finding relatively young people to stop your programs and projects who else is why should I think there is no shortage of opportunity for journalists if they can be truly multimedia journalists and how it when you get the explosion of good quality journalism in audio, when you look at obviously you know there is still a huge Desire for the written word both online and in print.

I don't think is necessarily a shortage.

I think the issue with BuzzFeed is it feels to me like that of Emperor's New Clothes hasbi.

Expose the little bit that we always heard the stories about sites like BuzzFeed that are they doing his incredible numbers and all people interested in now is listicles, and this is the future of of of news reporting in and maybe that we further listicles are profitable Otley and it's turned against them is when you think about when they launched and what's happened to the physical landscape over the past two or three years actually there is a great hunger for very serious news reporting and for people for to find a credible sources for therefore therefore their news based on the unreliability and the battle within going on between real news and fake news.


I think there's possibly something in that may be that those two stories correlate you mention the Edelman survey that says people returning to trusted brands and ok for millennials.

Maybe BuzzFeed is a kind of trusted brand.

It's been there for a long time but people turned to Brands like The Guardian 4 news.

And maybe don't want to get their politics from BuzzFeed well.

I mean people do when they're not doing badly.

It's just that they over expanded and other recklessly thought that they could take the UK on just at this point in time when opinion was Turning I think they do have a place and they have broken stories.

It's just and I've got and they had some excellent highers.

Do you need Gibson's always process about 2 because I think I think that's how it's the natural kind of assessments really of launchers.

You can very often lose your head and think that you're doing better than you are and they're always unexpected costs, which could I mean I have done to launches in my life and their wonderful but you have to think that you're going towards.

That's what it was when it's weekly which ceased to exist outside of 15 years ago, but it was a most wonderful interesting things to do is backed by the Daily Express but the whole point is that it's like War

Only businesses alike wolf and everything that can go wrong will go wrong and what's happened to use what's gone wrong.

Is there isn't enough revenue because there hasn't been enough.

I take up also not a media company really are they BuzzFeed today or a Silicon Valley disruptor basically so the whole approach to doing is Maggie's suggesting building up a launch title say let's invest in the UK it was more a case of let's chuck millions of Dollars that the UK and see what happens for a year and then they turned around said I was not working.

Let's stop.

It's so different isn't it to the way that a newspaper my operate will it's different in that the imperative to get to profit as quickly as possible is not there cos it's actually about getting using numbers and the data on those users which which you were monetize in some way or another but clearly someone has pulled the plug financially to a degree and just said he would not going to keep pumping money in here.

Would you which is unusual for some of the big Silicon Valley companies that we seeing where where it just seems to be endless investment Netflix

You could you could say that this is the supreme example of money being thrown at enormously ambitious venture and who knows where that's going to end.

There is still time for the media quiz before we going into the first round proper to get you both started ok, and we just two weeks to go until the start of the Winter Olympic Games in pyeongchang.

It's exactly 30 years since South Korea last hosted the Olympics and a quiz show started on daytime BBC One in which the grand prize was a trip to the summer Olympic Games in 1988 so the bonus question is what was that game show 1988 guests?

It's going for Gold you are absolutely right.

That's extraordinary golden Olympics that amazing an extra bonus questions you may be right theme tune Hans Zimmer Wrote theme tune to going for Gold contact.

Ok Steve you've got control of the board as we start the first round proper.

I'm going to ask a question which gets progressively easier buzzing with your name when you know the answer, but you only get one chance to choose your time wisely, you buzzing with your name Maggie so you say.

I never win these would they might use a magic there we go alright and Steve you say OK he's your four points clear of Henry gets progressively easier.

Who am I was in with your name, but you only get to do it once such as your point Wisley I was born in Australia and spent 10 years as a teacher.

I Began my career in Cologne with the German language section of the world service for 3 points now.

I was the first local radio presenter to be inducted into the Radio Academy Hall of Fame in 2004 Steve 43.2 just got in there before the two points ratio of yes, it is Ed Doolan who died this week 876 after a battle with dementia.

Ok his question to who am I for four Points I was born in 1973 in Winchester Hampshire for three points now.

I started my career at TCI in Bournemouth Sophie Steve know.

I know this because in a previous life abuse can be at work for was the age of this person who did.

But not when they're at to see I needed a deal that took into I think juice in Liverpool and it's Christian O'Connell it is and I like the way you kept with the format there and kept calling in this person about your availability Steve O'Connell stepping down leaving Absolute Radio after 12 years and it's a job in Australia yes, and I don't need yet said where is going now that you've just spoiled Theo he hasn't said Australia he hasn't said everyone else in the median.

If she said I was going to Australia Noy details to run Absolute Radio in that could potentially be the link.

I think I actually it's a real blow to UK commercial radio because UK commercial radio does not have many stars it has Christian O'Connell has Nick Ferrari

I'm I'm already struggling a bit now to think who who who has Chris Moyles but really really do struggle to think who are the big personalities who actually can attract an audience in their own right and Christian O'Connell without doubt has been one of those people unusual about him as well as I mean.

I think he's tried a few telly shows hasn't he like they all have but basically he's a radio name most people don't know what he looks like and I don't care.

He's only ever been on radio.

You don't have a really been on commercial radio from a few chosen 5 live right.

This is question sorry, it's not all to play for Kesteven already one who am I for four Points I was born on October 8th 1960 in Boston Massachusetts I'm an American entrepreneur and philanthropist for three points.

I joined the Peace Corps and went to teach high school nurse in Africa for two points.

I found it a startup company sending movies to subscribers by post packaging for 1.90 buzzing with your name now.

You're So Close no for one point my company's hits include the

Ronin Stranger Things Steve who who am I and the other one? I not send us a historical name.

It's Reed Hastings co-founder and CEO of Netflix in the news this week as a big groundbreaking stairs casually three bed in there that was the winning answer Maggie could have won the quiz you could have done it that is it for this week my thanks to Maggie and Steve at least give your donations coming we appreciate every penny and it is thanks to your help, but we keep this show independence go to the media podcast.

Calm slash donate do it now the media podcast is a PPM production produce this week by Peter price, and I've been Ollie man and until next time bye bye.

Potential by definition is the possibility of achieving more in the fast-paced world of digital advertising Oracle data cloud has built its Legacy on finding the signal through the noise on unlocking potential we bring together data and technology to help you better understand your audience where to best engage them and how to measure a tool to realise true potential Oracle data cloud where better outcomes begin visit Oracle data cloud.

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