New book about tech giants and news consumption
Nordicom is out with a new book. “Silicon Valley och makten över medierna” is written by Carl-Gustav Linden where he deals with the tech giants’ power over our news consumption.
The enormous power
In the study, media researcher Carl-Gustav Linden interviewed around 60 researchers and journalists about the power Silicon Valley and the global tech giants have gained over the media and news journalism. Silicon Valley is known for its growing technological and economic dominance. This is also the home of the companies Google and Facebook, which today dominate the digital advertising market.
"When global tech giants such as Google and Facebook have gained a monopoly position in the digital advertising market, the news media are forced to adapt their journalism to suit the major platforms and their ad-financed models. This means, for example. that headlines, texts and illustrations must be designed so that they capture the greatest possible attention, at the expense of journalism that creates lasting value", says Linden.
One solution to the problem is to ask users to pay for the journalistic content. The Nordic countries have proven that paid journalism can help to recapture readers, listeners and viewers. "The paying reader plays an important role in free and independent journalism. For the media, it is important to nurture the relationships with their readers, listeners and viewers and ensure that the platforms do not come in and decide what the relationship should look like."
The importance of cooperation
Another important solution in the fight against the tech giants and their dominans is cooperation, both between media companies and countries. First, cooperation across public services and commercial media is required, Linden explains: "The news media have historically been poor at cooperating, this applies in particular between public service and commercial media, which has been almost impossible. It is now necessary if they want to survive."
Secondly, cooperation across borders is also required. A single country has difficulty influencing the large companies alone. Here, Linden demands that the EU sets stricter requirements for the technology companies.
Read the book
As the European Commission is expected to present proposals for political changes in the near futures, there is a possibility this may change. In the meantime, you can read more about the study by downloading the book online, or order a printed copy (the book is only available in swedish):