All posts in “Media”

Arkadium brings its interactive content to the Associated Press


The Associated Press is partnering with Arkadium to use InHabit, an interactive content tool launched last year.

Arkadium’s goal for InHabit is to automatically add interactive polls, quizzes and games into relevant stories, hopefully making those stories more engaging in the process. The technology was initially designed for sports content, so the AP is starting its integration on its pro football, college football and college basketball sites.

In fact, the integration is already live, as you can see in this football story.

The interactive content — what Arkadium calls “factives” — will reach beyond AP-owned properties, because the sites also repurposed and distributed by AP publishers with their own branding. And the company says it’s exploring other ways to incorporate factives into the content that it syndicates with partners.

Fernando Ferre, the AP’s vice president of business development, said he found the partnership appealing because of its “scalability,” with InHabit allowing the AP to “easily integrate this automatically generated content and make it relevant to the article.” He also noted that the AP has been experimenting with using artificial intelligence to write earnings reports: “We’ve carved out an interesting sort of lead position in that area.”

Arkadium Jessica Rovello said added that team is working with the AP to build templates for the kinds of factives that will fit with AP content.

“From there, we actually let the system take over,” Rovello said. “If the system determines that there is a factive that’s a good match for this story, it will show up. If there’s no match, nothing will show up. The editor doesn’t need to be policing this on a day-to-day basis.”

Featured Image: selimaksan/Getty Images

Americans say social media is destroying the news — but nobody knows what to do about it

Social media truly is bringing Americans together… in our frustration over social media giants. 

Americans are fed up with the role that big tech companies now play in the news media, according to a new study from the Knight Foundation and Gallup. 

Maybe worse — we’re enormously conflicted on what to do about that.

On Tuesday, the Knight Foundation and Gallup published a sweeping study about the public’s perception of the media — including tech companies — and its role in politics and society. 

Entitled “American Views: Trust, Media and Democracy,” the study surveyed 19,196 Americans over the age of 18 about their news consumption habits, the extent that they believe the media is important to a democracy, whether they believe the media is succeeding in informing the public, how the proliferation of online news sources is contributing to their consumption of current events, the extent of the problem of fake news, and more. 

Many of the study’s statistical findings basically support what we’re all experiencing: a massive amount of vitriol and suspicion directed towards the press, the breakdown of faith in objective facts and reporting, the proliferation of partisanship across the board.

There’s one thing Americans agree on: everyone’s got to do better.

For all of these factors, the study compares differing opinions and behaviors across demographics like race, age, political views, party affiliation, and education. 

“I think it’s particularly sobering not just for media organizations, but for all of the organizations that are helping people become informed, including the major technology gatekeepers like Facebook and Twitter and Google,” said Brandon Busteed, a partner in Gallup’s government division.

The 2017 Gallup-Knight Foundation report on Trust, Media and Democracy was co-funded by the Knight Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Open Society Foundation. It was completed as part of the Knight Foundation’s Trust, Media and Democracy initiative.

Image: Gallup/knight foundation

Things get interesting when the study’s authors dig into the role social media and tech companies are playing in the public’s perception of the news. The study looked at how people use and feel about social media, and how people think social media should function as part of the news ecosystem. 

The picture their findings paint is one of conflicted ambivalence. But there’s finally one thing Americans agree on: everyone’s got to do better.

The echo chamber

Within social sharing sites, the study found that people share news knowing that most people they’re sharing a piece of news with will agree with it. People are aware that social media can and does further entrench partisan beliefs; however, they do see that as a problem: 57 percent of people say associating only with people who hold similar beliefs to yours is a “major problem.”

Image: GALLUP/KNIGHT FOUNDATION

Image: GALLUP/KNIGHT FOUNDATION

Delete ur account

Americans have an overall negative opinion of how Facebook and other social media sites are affecting the trustworthiness of the news. 

Furthermore, social media use itself has a corrosive effect: the more a demographic engages with social media, the less faith they have in the media as a whole. The largest group that has an unfavorable view of the news media is 18-29 year olds, who, surprise surprise, get their news the most from social feeds.

Image: GALLUP/KNIGHT FOUNDATION

Americans also believe that, thanks to technological developments, the proliferation of available news sources  is confusing them more than informing them. That finding skews conservative, but is consistent in terms of age.

Image: GALLUP/KNIGHT FOUNDATION

Sam Gill, Knight’s vice president for communities and impact, said that this was one of the study’s most surprising findings for him.

“An implicit core tenet of our democracy is that the more information we have access to, the more likely we are to get to the truth, to make better decisions,” Gill said. “At a time when we have as much information as we’ve ever had, we find it’s harder today to be informed than in the past. And I think that’s something that should give us pause.”

Where do we go from here? America says: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Facebook, Google, and Twitter have been in political hot water for how Russian hackers were able to manipulate their sites in order to influence the election. And while some members of Congress have expressed strong opinions about the need to regulate social media’s role in the news because of these controversies, American citizens aren’t so sure. 

Not only are Americans split on whether these companies should or shouldn’t be regulated — 49 percent for, 47 percent against — extreme splits are consistent within the demographics themselves.

Image: GALLUP/KNIGHT FOUNDATION

Survey respondents are also unsure about whether institutions or individuals are responsible for media objectivity, trust, and accountability. Half think it’s up to us to parse fact from opinion, to ensure “people have an accurate and politically balanced understanding of the news.” The other half want to put their faith in news organizations.

Image: Gallup/knight foundation

“People are mixed, or ambivalent, about who should play a role, who’s most responsible,” Busteed said. “This may be an issue that’s so important that we all feel responsibility, or we feel everybody has a responsibility, so that becomes the collective commons issue of, if we all feel responsible, how do we each act individually?”

So what?

Reading through the Gallup/Knight study, the numbers seem to confirm the sorry state of affairs the media is in, that we can feel in our guts, and our newsfeeds.

But Sam Gill is optimistic.

“People recognize the profound role that this technology plays in their lives, but are unclear, again, about what the rules and the norms ought to be,” Gill said “That’s a fantastic opportunity, hopefully, for a conversation about solutions that can cross sectors, or cross many of the divides that make other issues intractable.”

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Hulu announces April release date for The Handmaid’s Tale


Hulu on Friday released the first images of the next season of The Handmaid’s Tale, announcing that the next season will be released in April. Unfortunately, they weren’t any more specific than that.

Another lingering question is whether or not Hulu will continue on with its weekly release of episodes for Season 2. In the first season, Hulu released the first three episodes at once, with the rest coming once a week after that.

The series, which originally premiered around the same time last year, has taken home the Emmy, Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice Award for Best Drama during this year’s awards season. Alexis Bledel, who originally played Ofglen, has also been promoted to a series regular for the second season.

The Handmaid’s Tale is a key piece of Hulu’s strategy. The first season was released in conjunction with Hulu’s Live TV service. And given that The Handmaid’s Tale has become a must-see show, the company now has a more convincing play when asking users to upgrade to the $40/month Live TV offering.

The first image released shows a large group of people traversing a wide open field. There seem to be two different ‘classes’ of people in the image, one being herded and the other doing the herding. While the group being led seems to have similar outfits to the Marthas, the group doing the leading don’t have familiar uniforms on. Might this be our first look at the Colonies?

The second picture is of the series star Elisabeth Moss, who plays Offred, covered in blood. She doesn’t seem to be bleeding herself, so maybe Offred ups the ante this upcoming season.

There’s also an image, first released to Entertainment Weekly, that shows what appears to be the Aunts and the Handmaids walking through a cemetery. They’re all wearing black.

(Photo by: Take Five/Hulu)

Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait until sometime in April to get to the bottom of this.

Bumble is hiring an Editorial Director to build out its media brand


Bumble, the female-led dating app founded by Whitney Wolfe Herd in 2014, is diving head first into content.

The company is hiring Clare O’Connor as its first Editorial Director, who will work directly with Wolfe Herd and and Bumble’s content team to develop editorial content for their millions of users via a new arm called Bumble Media.

O’Connor most recently was a staff writer at Forbes where she covered woman entrepreneurs, workplace equality, and diversity in tech and Silicon Valley. It’s a perfect fit for Bumble, which is arguably the dating app most focused on promoting equality between matches and empowering woman.

“As you’ve seen with the additions of Erin and Sara Foster and now with a journalist the caliber of Clare who’s charted and championed female entrepreneurs for years, we’re putting together a dynamic team as we build out Bumble Media,” said Wolfe Herd in a statement. “Our users have a relationship with our brand and are demanding more and more Bumble content and we’re committed to delivering that content with a team that’s as talented as they are passionate about our mission.”

O’Connor and the rest of Bumble Media will focus on both long and short form content which will be distributed across all of Bumble’s social channels. At some point Bumble will start serving this content in their app via yet to be released features, and eventually start to monetize it as the effort scales. Expect to see Bumble Media focus on content that highlights the benefits of its platform while also telling the stories of female leaders and change makers.

Outside of written editorial content Bumble will also invest in original video content spanning a range of format and genres. This video effort will be led by TV producers Erin and Sara Foster, who together are Bumble’s Heads of Creative. The video below made by Bumble is a good example of what this may look like – videos highlighting matches and other aspects of the social network.

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Facebook, not Twitter, will live stream this year’s Golden Globes’ red carpet pre-show


Facebook has scored the exclusive rights to live stream this year’s Golden Globes’ red carpet pre-show – a deal that last year went to Twitter. On Tuesday, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) and dick clark productions announced the two-hour event would be exclusively available on the Golden Globes Facebook page from 6 to 8 p.m. ET (3 to 5 p.m. PT) on Sunday, January 7, 2018.

This is not the main awards show, mind you, but rather the official red carpet where celebrities are photographed and asked softball questions about their wardrobes, plus-ones, and who they’re hoping will win. When Twitter live streamed the event, the company collaborated with the Hollywood Foreign Press to source questions from fans’ tweets.

This time around, the HFPA will leverage Facebook’s technologies and platforms to enhance the experience for viewers.

For starters, the Golden Globes Facebook Page will post exclusive live footage, including 360-degree videos captured at the event along with other backstage content. In addition, the @goldenglobes Instagram account will offer similar exclusive footage, and the main @Instagram Story will be hosted by one of the red carpet hosts, Laura Marano.

The other event hosts include AJ Gibson, Jeannie Mai, and Scott Mantz.

The ability to post to both Facebook and Instagram likely sweetened the deal for the HFPA. For example, the main Instagram account today has 230 million followers – or 230 million potential viewers for the red carpet Instagram story. Twitter, meanwhile, has 330 million monthly actives in total. The Golden Globe Awards Facebook Page is followed by 2.3 million users, though it may acquire more viewers for the red carpet event, as anyone can visit the page to watch – not just those who explicitly “liked” it.

Plus, as Variety notes, the Golden Globes’ other media partners will post to Facebook and use Instagram Live for sharing photos and videos from the event, as well, providing even more exposure.

“Facebook has had a long collaborative relationship with the entertainment community, and we’re thrilled to be able to extend that through our work with the Golden Globes,” Sibyl Goldman, head of Facebook’s Entertainment Partnerships in a statement. “We always aim to create unique experiences which bring communities together, and partaking in the kickoff of award season in conjunction with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, is a demonstration of our commitment to bring fans together through entertainment they enjoy.”