IJF19: Criticize Facebook? Sure. Leave? Why?
Facebook and Twitter are being blamed for almost every ill of society. Have the tech companies screwed up? Sure. But should journalists necessarily leave social platforms and the communities that have found a voice there? Are they making a moral stand or fuelling a moral panic?
This panel at the International Journalism Festival in Perugia takes as its starting point the 23 December 2018 post on Medium by Jeff Jarvis (Newmark Journalism School at CUNY) titled Criticize Facebook? Sure. Leave? Why?
Alan Rusbridger (principal of Lady Margaret Hall University of Oxford) argues that social media are often better than the British press, that failed on topics such as Brexit and climate change.
Journalist and author James Ball exposed three uncomfortable truths: there is a lot of absolute crap tech reporting on Facebook; Facebook sucks, as they face some very difficult issues and often screw up the basics; journalism and Facebook are codependent. He argues that the news industry should not leave Facebook, but hold it accountable.
Jennifer Brandel (co-founder and CEO of Hearken) argues that newsrooms should listen to the people, and Facebook allows them to do that.
Jesper Doub (former journalist and director of Facebook news partnerships for Europe, Middle East, and Africa) admits that Facebook has screwed up in the past and it will screw up again, because it does a lot of things that no one has done before. He argues that Facebook is not the solution to the problems of journalism, but it can be a reliable partner. Facebook should not decide what is quality journalism, as that would be dangerous.