Reuters also unveiled Reuters Plus at the events, 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.
Highlights of the Reuters Tomorrow’s News 2017 event in New York
On Thursday, June 8, industry experts gathered in New York for a lively discussion of fake news, trust, social media and consumer behavior and perceptions of news brands.
The panel was moderated by Reuters Editor-at-Large Axel Threlfall and included 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.
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.”
“Until now it’s been a black box, and that’s sort of cracking open a little more.”
Highlights of the Reuters Tomorrow’s News 2017 event in London
On Wednesday, June 14, industry experts Madhav Chinnappa, Director of Strategic Relations for News and Publishers at Google; Maisie McCabe, Deputy Editor of Campaign; Nic Newman, Research Association at Reuters Institute; and Nathalie Malinarich, Mobile Editor, BBC News Online, joined moderator John Pullman, Reuters Global Head of Video and Pictures, in London to debate the findings of the Tomorrows News 2017 report.
Among the highlights:
- Chinnappa said that Google is “trying to give the answers that the users are looking for when they search, which is a very specific thing. So for us, when you look at false news, on some levels, that’s news spam. It’s people trying to game the system. And we’ve been trying to fight that from the beginning of Google.”
- Malinarich noted that brand attribution or recognition on social media is really difficult. “If you spend your whole day snacking on Facebook, you know you’ve read things about Trump or whatever it is, but you don’t who wrote them or made the video at the end. …it’s just kind of a jumble in your head and you remember the actual stories and the headlines, but you don’t really remember who provided that.”
- The way people buy online advertising, McCabe said, was to look for the cheapest way to find people who look like they might be interested in their brand. “That means they don’t pay attention to necessarily where the ad is going to run, so then you have the situation where people are chasing numbers by any means. It’s definitely something advertisers need to be wary of.”
- On fake news, Newman said “whose responsibility is it—is it publishers, is it platforms, is it users? In this world, it’s all of those. Users get the benefits of greater choice, but downside of that is they have to do more work themselves to work out what is true and what isn’t. They are, and they relish that. They see that trade off when you talk to them. From a publishers point of you, they need to do more about transparency. From a platform point of view, they need to do more as well to show the value of brands.