FIR Presents Inside PR #392: The algorithm called journalism

FIR Presents Inside PRWe start this episode with a burning question from Gini: Is lasagna pasta – yes or no?

Joe and I both say yes. And so Gini, armed with the information she desperately needs, is ready to take on her dinner menu. That is, unless you, our listeners, think otherwise. Please let us know.

And now back to our regularly scheduled programming…

Joe starts the show talking about the notion of who makes news decisions – editors or algorithms. This was sparked by an Emily Bell speech and spawned a discussion online as well as several posts, including one by Jeff Jarvis.

In her talk, Bell contends journalists, who once controlled the determination and distribution of news, have lost their hold or maybe they’ve been supplanted. Their replacements? In digital channels, many editorial decisions are made by people fine-tuning algorithms or the algorithms themselves.

Martin says on the editorial front, we’ve traded one concentrated group of publicly-traded companies (media) for another (social networks as new media).

Gini says there’s so much info out there that until something’s been confirmed by the fourth estate, we tend not to believe it. Traditional media is the filter.

Joe contends PR is in an ideal position to bridge the gap between journalistic decision makers and the way algorithms pick content. And by seeing both sides of the coin, we can still help get news in front of people either though media or their feeds.

And that’s where understanding influence and influencers comes into play. Martin mentions a new type of influencer: a young video game player with an engaged audience who was featured in an article in the NYTimes. And the profession needs to refine its approach to public relationship-building to take this into account.

Are algorithms the new equivalent of editors – we don’t know who/what they are and yet they make many decisions? Is that a good or a bad thing? We’d love to hear what you think.

Send us an email or an audio comment to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), join the FIR Google+ Community, join the Inside PR Google+ Community, join the Inside PR Facebook group, leave us a comment here, message us @inside_pr on Twitter, or connect with Gini Dietrich, Joseph Thornley, and Martin Waxman on Twitter.

Get this podcast:

We’d love to hear your thoughts!

FIR Community on Google PlusShare your comments or questions about this podcast, or suggestions for future podcasts, in the online FIR Podcast Community on Google+.

You can also reach Inside PR’s hosts by email at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), or join the InsidePR Google Plus community or Facebook group. InsidePR is on Twitter at @Inside_PR. You can send us an instant voicemail via SpeakPipe, right from the FIR website. Or, call the Comment Line at +1 415 895 2971 (North America), +44 20 3239 9082 (Europe), or Skype: fircomments. You can tweet us: @FIRpodcast. And you can email us at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). If you wish, you can email your comments, questions and suggestions as MP3 file attachments (max. 3 minutes / 5Mb attachment, please!). We’ll be happy to see how we can include your audio contribution in a show.

Thank you to the people behind Inside PR: Our theme music was created by Damon de Szegheo; Roger Dey is our announcer. Inside PR is produced by Kristine D’Arbelles and Ashlea LeCompte.

Check the FIR website for information about other FIR podcasts. To receive all podcasts in the FIR Podcast Network, subscribe to the “everything” RSS feed.

FIR presents Inside PR is brought to you with Lawrence Ragan Communications, serving communicators worldwide for 35 years.

Posted by shel on 12/10 at 12:51 PM






Remember my personal information

Notify me of follow-up comments?

Submit the word you see below:

<< Back to main