Where does quality journalism fit in the age of algorithms and newsfeeds?
When we saw the opportunity to pitch a speaking panel at the tech event of the year, we jumped at the opportunity. Mind you, we aren’t exactly known for keeping our opinions to ourselves.
Over the past number of years, SXSW has evolved into a global gathering place where entertainment meets interactive media. It’s where emerging tech companies are invited to take center stage, because their role is so fundamental to the future of almost every industry in the world – including journalism.
In 2017, SXSW is expanding their convergence track even further to elevate the discussion around the struggling world of mainstream media.
And because PressReader has been escalating its global influence and reach (now over 300 million worldwide!), working with brands and publishers on an ever-larger scale, it’s critical for our industry and partners that we discuss these issues on the biggest tech/journalism stage there is.
Journalism affects everything from elections outcomes and the economy to pop culture and style, so it’s no wonder the state of journalism has been a hot topic of late. Even John Oliver went on a public rant on the sad state of the fourth estate. Given the commotion, we want to help answer the tough questions around quality journalism in the age of algorithms and newsfeeds, with the aid of experts in media and emerging technologies.
The rise of mobile devices and the dominance of social networks as news sources mean that there are important questions to be asked about how to maintain a high standard of journalism given a whole new set of rules.
Editorial boards no longer hold the sole power to determine what issues readers see first. This raises a whole new set of questions:
- Whose obligation is it to ensure that society has access to balanced, thorough, high quality journalism?
- How do algorithms and newsfeeds (and the humans who build them) impact citizens’ abilities to develop a nuanced understanding of often complex issues?
- What does all of this mean for journalists? For readers? For our ability to hold informed public debates as a society?
We’ve been advocates of journalism since 1999 when we founded PressReader (in its initial incarnation as NewspaperDirect). Every year we witness more newsrooms cuts, publications folding and publishers paying the price for not giving readers what they want.
These issues are a top priority, and it’s time to bring them to a larger and more influential audience – so we’re heading to Texas! I hope you’ll join in on the conversations that results from our panel. If you give a damn about journalism and its role in our lives, please take a moment to vote for it here.
Peter Bale: An expert in media with decades of experience, Peter is the former VP and GM of digital ops at CNN International, as well as the former Executive Producer of MSN UK. Currently, Peter is at the non-profit organization Center for Public Integrity, and International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.
John Stackhouse: John Stackhouse is a nationally bestselling author and long-time foreign correspondent for The Globe and Mail and editor of Report on Business. In 2009, he became the national newspaper’s editor-in-chief, a position he held for five years. He is a Senior Fellow at the C.D. Howe Institute and University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs, and author of Mass Disruption: Thirty Years on the Front Lines of a Media Revolution.
Social Media Expert: TBC