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On this week’s episode of Media Voices’ Big Noises series we hear from Ricky Sutton, a man who has straddled both the journalistic and tech industries. He tells us about the media militancy, why we need media plurality and why he thinks publisher cohesion is vital for ensuring that.
He says: “I don’t think [platforms] set themselves up to be an enemy. But if they see that the path they’re taking is take them to a trillion dollars, [they’re not] going to stop are they? And if they mow us down as they go, that’s okay. Somebody at Google said to me once…’The way we see ourselves is that we’re like a big friendly bear, and we’re in bed together. I think you’re terrific, I really liked you. But during the night, unbeknownst to me, I accidentally rolled over and smothered you and killed you. That’s how we feel.’”
Now the extent to which Google is a bear at all – much less a friendly one – is going to divide our industry. But there’s an awful lot in this interview with Ricky that speaks to the need for both publishers and platforms to find common ground that I think anyone would struggle to argue with.
It’s easy to forget that other social media platforms exist, given all the focus on Twitter and Meta’s platforms. But Reddit has always been a source of Big Hits for publishers – if you made it to the front page of Reddit you were pretty much guaranteed a lot of attention. Well, that’s liable to change, as its rewards system is being reappraised.
Yes, good, great, wonderful. Like I said on Twitter (remember Twitter?) climate journalism needs to be spread across every desk, not just a desk in its own right. From sustainability to greenwashing to representation, the industry needs to be rethinking its approach to climate journalism. This is a great step in that direction.
This is one of those things I’ve never understood about the right-wing papers’ support for Brexit. They knew it would impoverish the public (or were stupid enough to believe it wouldn’t, which is equally deplorable) and yet chose to support it. Well, now it’s obviously hitting their bottom lines. Not to the extent it’s hurting the public they’re supposed to protect, but still.