Reading response #12

This week, read:

and watch Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Native Advertising.

All three of these touch on ways news organizations are using technology to help increase revenues and/or cut costs. Which of the practices described in the readings/video are you the most comfortable with? Which are ethically dubious? What could news organizations do to become more financially stable without jeopardizing their trust with audiences?

Post your response by Sunday, May 1 at 11:59 p.m.



7 thoughts on “Reading response #12

  1. I understand why people would think that being “tracked” is an invasion of privacy by advertisers, but I don’t think it’s that big of a deal to be honest. I’d rather have advertisements that actually appeal to me, than annoying ones just in my face. Also, as John Oliver said, if the news isn’t being paid for, people have to understand that advertisements are the only source of revenue for news companies. What John Oliver makes clear, that I fully agree with, is how advertisements shouldn’t be intertwined with news. If news stories are based off of advertisement ideas, then a bias is created, and what is truly important, will not be reported.

    What scared me of the three sources was the computerized writing. Writing isn’t a math formula. It’s meant to create emotion, flow smoothly and interpret ideas through different use of tone and rhetoric. With computerized writing, writing would only sound like a report and destroy the art of it.


  2. Personally, I’m pretty uncomfortable with all these practices. However, I suppose I am most comfortable with ad tracking. As Xena said I am so use to this type of advertisement that I don’t even notice it half the time and if I do I don’t think anything of it.
    I think the algorithm advertising is the the most ethically dubious. To have a robot responding or writing a story that many assume a human wrote is misleading. It takes away credibility which is exactly why it’s never said if it’s a robot writing a story or responding to you online. I think the tracking is also ethically dubious although I’m use to it it’s still an invasion on privacy.
    I honestly don’t even know what news companies could to still make make money but not be shady. I guess maybe just be more upfront with what they are doing. Maybe they, the news companies, could have ads like youtube does. I’m not sure.


  3. All three of these touch on ways news organizations are using technology to help increase revenues and/or cut costs.
    Which of the practices described in the readings/video are you the most comfortable with?
    I am most comfortable with is tracking on websites. This is because I’m so use to it that I don’t really sit and think about how creepy it is. For example, the pair of shoes that you looked at 5 mins ago that are suddenly on this completely unrelated website. Its useful for newspapers to have this technology and honestly it doesn’t really bother me all that much, if anything its just annoying. Also, I suppose because I know what there looking for in a sense that this is why it doesn’t completely bother me. These companies just wanna know what you’re viewing on their site and how long of a time you were there. It helps them and if thats what I have to give in order to see the news then thats okay with me. Its better this way than paying for news everywhere I go and I already expect, sadly, to have no privacy on the internet so it’s not as if I’m giving something up that I ever had in the first place.

    Which are ethically dubious?
    Advertisements and tracking are unethical in the sense of how it invades ones “privacy” in order to build their revenue. This is because it’s not truly told to you upfront that you’re being tracked, you just have to assume it these days. Therefore its unethical in the sense that these companies are not being transparent with how they receive their revenue from “consumers”.

    What could news organizations do to become more financially stable without jeopardizing their trust with audiences?
    I think they could just afford to be more transparent with the working of how they do things such as tracking and third parties and advertisements. This way the people have a choice and they don’t feel deceived. I think that if they were honest then they wouldn’t have such a problem. Personally I wouldn’t care if they wanted to see how long I’m on their site to track my habits but as long as I know what I’m signing up for. This is because if they are lying about one thing then that leads me to believe that they are being false about other habits of there. This could be avoided with accuracy, transparency and responsibility on the news organizations part, to being with.


  4. In my opinion branded content is respectable more comfortable. It is an attention to detail that allows these advertisements to create an imposition on those who view certain things. We must consider that it is easy to assume we are being watched with knowing that there is no need to worry about privacy based on governmental needs. On the contrary those who earn there money from these advertisements must have a way of making a profit. Although if algorithms like that occurred in the article could be advanced that is when one csn worry bout the culture involved such as journalist careers in declining.


  5. In my opinion, I think native advertising is probably the best way for a news organization to have revenue and I’m the most comfortable with it. Although it might not be the most trustworthy, it is still better than people feeling like their privacy is at risk, which is why this would be the most dubious. I already knew this was happening when ads started popping up on my facebook knowing exactly what I wanted. It was both disturbing but interesting at the same time. To think news organization had that much ability to is pretty scary. I completely understand organizations need to make a profit, but I think invading the public’s privacy is not the best way. In the article by Shelly Podolny, the algorithm would be a better choice once it develops. There are still some issues with it but I think after it develops it will be the perfect solution for news organizations other than native advertising.


  6. News organizations are changing the way they use technology to increase revenues/cut costs. The practice I am most comfortable with is explained in the article by Shelly Podolny. It talks about algorithm and how it is mostly controlled by computers. I think I am most comfortable with algorithm because I have always known there was a potential that what I was reading online was generated by a computer. Such as the example that was used in the reading, of the letters in a box demanding you confirm what you see. I am well aware that this generation has advanced well enough to where computers primarily generate a lot of information for us.

    One practice I see as ethically dubious is our privacy being trafficked online. The article from The Conversation, gives detailed information on how our online browsing history is often given to third party vendors. I had a feeling this is what was happening when I would see the same pair of shoes I was looking at on, appear on my Facebook. It’s creepy. And to know my browsing history is being exposed to so many vendors at a time, does not put me as ease. It makes me feel like someone is always watching, even if I’m just alone in my bed doing a Google search before I go to sleep at night. There should be some form of security in place for individuals who browse the web. Especially from the websites we trust most.

    To become more financially stable, news organizations could charge a small fee for the information they release. If they are a good, reputable company, I believe they would do well with this notion. It may not work for all news organizations, but it is a start for the successful ones. This makes the trust with the audience completely unbiased, and not jeopardized. I would say the use of sponsors by ad, as the video talked about however, historically that did not work out well. It leaves the potential for biased news as broadcasters and journalists may have to tailor their opinion because off sponsor.


  7. I feel like I am most comfortable with branded content. I kind of appreciate it in some ways – it’s creative and smart. I feel pretty confident that I can tell the difference between branded content and independent news. As for ethics I think that the fact that we are paying with our privacy is the most dubious. I always figured there had to be something tracking me when those shoes I looked at pop up in adds on the sides of other sites. However, I didn’t realize how much of it was being monitored or how many people are getting this information. At the same time I do want to write for the web and I understand that there has to be some sort of business model in order to make enough profit to at least pay writers like myself. Sadly I think this problem could be solved if algorithms like the one mentioned in the article can become more advanced, then they might take our jobs as journalists as a whole. I think that news outlets dug a hole by not initially charging for online content, now we have to deal with that decision and if it means publishing some branded content I think that is a fair trade off so that we can continue doing actual writing and reporting.


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