Nieman Foundation at Harvard
HOME
          
LATEST STORY
People are using Facebook and Instagram as search engines. During a pandemic, that’s dangerous.
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
Sept. 20, 2013, 1:47 p.m.

It’s a new report from the essential Reuters Institute at Oxford, which leads the way in cross-national media studies today. PDF here. The big question is what’s the role of public television — PBS, BBC, CBC, NHK, and so on — in a world where media options are more numerous than ever? One noteworthy, if short, chapter is Joshua Gans’ “Television Wants to be Shared”:

My recent book Information Wants to be Shared (2012) puts forward the hypothesis that allowing consumers to share information easily can be an important feature of business models for content provision. The reasons are twofold. First, information, as an economic good, has a non-rival characteristic, meaning that the costs of producing information are independent of, and often much greater than, the costs of distributing it. This is certainly true of broadcasting where the size of the audience does not impact on the cost of providing programming. From an economic perspective, what this implies is that it is efficient for information, once produced, to be widely disseminated and that we should look for ways for all users to contribute towards the cost of producing that information. That widespread dissemination and voluntary choice to contribute to information funding can conflict is a challenge that does not diminish the aim here.

Show tags Show comments / Leave a comment
 
Join the 50,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
People are using Facebook and Instagram as search engines. During a pandemic, that’s dangerous.
Data voids on social networks are spreading misinformation and causing real world harm. Here are some ideas on how to fix the problem.
What’s up with all the news photos that make beaches look like Covid hotspots?
Plus: All misinformation is local; a very specific kind of Covid-19 misinformation in Facebook parent groups; and “religious clickbait.”
In the arena: Ken Doctor is moving from “media analyst” to “media CEO” with Lookout, his plan for quality local news
Lookout doesn’t want its local news sites to be a supplement or alternative to the local daily. They aim to be the news source of record in their communities, outgunning their shrunken newsprint rivals from Day 1.