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Guardian tells MPs Facebook and Google are threat to high-quality journalism

In its submission to the select committee inquiry into “fake news”, The Guardian has warned that digital advertising market dominance by the likes of Facebook and Google “threatens to undermine investment in high quality journalism”.

The newspaper also said it believed “fake news” to be a “symptom of a bigger phenomenon associated with the rapid maturation of a system of networked global digital platforms which offer a scale of instant viral interconnectivity unparalleled in the history of communication”.

The inquiry, run by the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, closed to submissions in March and is expected to publish evidence later this month. It is understood to have received around 100 pieces of evidence with a report set to be published in September.

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In its written submission, Guardian Media Group said Facebook and Google played a “pivotal role” at the “heart of the news ecosystem” and that this “poses a number of challenges for news organisations”.

“First, the primary objective of search and social platforms is not to exposure users to a wide variety of high quality news, but to retain users in order to serve advertising,” it said.

“Successive changes to platform algorithms have tended to favour viral content shared by friends and family, rather than high quality journalism.

“Second, the distribution of news within aggregated environments disintermediates journalism from the source website of that content, undermining the connection between users and trusted news brands.”

The Guardian also claimed the inquiry was taking place “within an evidential vacuum” because data about the impact digital technology has on media consumption in society belonged to the individual platforms, and so is not in the public domain.

Picture: Reuters/Suzanne Plunkett

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8 thoughts on “Guardian tells MPs Facebook and Google are threat to high-quality journalism”

  1. Well said Rob! I totally agree. The MSM gatekeepers are redundant now. Their monopoly on news is over and they are dying. Their industry is fundamentally surplus to requirements now and although some will perish quicker than others, ultimately all of them will go away. Fake news with partisan political agendas and dishonest low quality journalism – time is running out. It’s over lads. You had a good run. A couple hundred years or so but it’s over now. Good riddance. We won’t miss you! You deserve to fail because your product is rubbish. Welcome for the first time to real free market capitalism where meritocracy now reigns supreme and you’re all getting exposed for the mediocrities you are. No bailouts here! God I LOVE capitalism 🙂

  2. Just something for the Guardian paper bosses to ponder on + fact!
    Guardian tells MPs Facebook and Google are threat to high-quality journalism

    Guardian they are no threat to you what so ever FULL STOP!
    As long as your paper, tell the truth and allows us voters to do the same!
    You must not stop us commenting on the Tory Govt or any Govt in power,
    If you stop the public from getting or telling the truth out of this Tory Govt.
    Like you seem to be doing now.
    So public are going to the over places like Facebook and Google to be heard and put their wishes out you must not be one-sided paper looking after Govt.
    (for whatever help you get out of them) we joe public are not interested in the untruths any more we demand the truth out of all Govt now so if we have to use the over services,
    (Not your paper comment pages) available we will to get our messages out about wrong,
    Doing in Govt because your paper will not comment on at all now. WHY?
    You just keep “shoo on matter to do with Tory Govt in power now WHY?
    Again, can you tell us Joe public WHY?
    This is why we going “elsewhere to put our cases about Govt wrong doing now you will not let us have a say on comment pages you remove our true comment WHY again
    –as over papers let us put the exact same wording on their commenting web pages so what the problem with your paper not letting us tell our feeling on Tory Govt matter
    (Could it be you are a Tory party funder so do not like the truth about the party you are funding them?
    Alternatively, is there another reason (can you tell us Guardian manager (boss)
    “I as a commenter of the truth on all papers, about Tory Govts wrongdoing to the public would like a reply here please to “my comment here from bosses of your Guardian paper.
    Have a nice day all commenters.

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