Updated: Aug 4

Journalism Practice came up with a fantastic idea: let's bring publicly-oriented academics and have them write non-jargon and public-facing pieces about issues journalism is facing today. The result: a special issue on Journalism Research in Practice.

Avery Holton and my piece is more of a call for action for how media organizations can deal with the increasing role of tech companies in news (with a focus on web analytics). Here are our top four takeaways.

1. Tech companies position themselves as valuing the traditions of journalism

While these companies do not position themselves as journalists or as key players in a shifting journalism culture that increasingly includes web analytics, they recognize the value of journalisms traditional norms and practices.

2. Tech companies need to take responsibility in news

These profit-driven companies are wrestling with issues of self-perception pitching themselves as necessary to the future of news while not claiming responsibility for any of the changes they have induced in news production.

3. Tech companies are news

Such a position may have implications on the liability of web analytics companies in the production of news. These companies are impacting workflow by guiding journalists, editors, and publishers as they select which news to cover, how to cover it, & how to engage w/ audiences.

4. Media organizations and tech companies should consider these questions

How accountable should these companies be in news? What policies should news organizations develop? What transparency practices media organizations should have for the public to understand how these companies are altering the public good?

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