Good morning! Today’s newsletter is brought to you by Chris.
Elon Musk is a moron. He’s mistaken about where the value of Twitter lies, has vastly overestimated how many people will pay for a blue tick, and generally has no clue about verification. That’s all covered in this New Statesman article, but I’d like to throw in a couple of Media Voices comments here.
The first thing is – Musk is approaching blue ticks like they’re NFTs. This is your brain on crypto. The second follows from the first – verification is not something to which you are entitled because you can cough up $8 a month (thanks, Stephen King). Instead, it’s part and parcel of the bedrock of what makes a trusted platform. That’s just privilege, no matter what the lunatic new owner might say.
The third – and I think most important – follows from the second. Blue ticks are not a silver bullet for verification or disinformation online. No one thing can be. By trying to create a direct correlation between being able to afford a subscription fee and the prevention of disinformation, Musk is cutting many of the people who genuinely need verification out of the conversation. He’s a clown.
With just days to go until the US midterms, there has never been so much at stake in terms of misinformation and polarisation. In this new Conversations episode, Chris is joined by Reuters News Agency’s Politics Editor Scott Malone, Digital Verification Editor Stephanie Burnett and Director of Emerging Products and Special Events Rob Schack to discuss how data can help build trust in the news. Listen now.
Oh and speaking of alt-right social network owners – The Atlantic has taken a look at the video platform Rumble, which has become the home for right wing social content from some high profile individuals and Russian disinformation. Basically, we’re doomed.
This slow dwindling of trustworthy sources of local news is gutting. It’s mad that we’ve somehow engineered a situation in which news provision is getting worse, even with all the new tech, platforms and tools to which we have access.
This week’s podcast:
Our sixth Media Moments episode looks at the world of podcasting, from how publishers are refocusing strategies on engaging superfans to the growing popularity of video podcasts. To discuss 2022’s biggest podcast trends we’re joined this week by Naomi Mellor, founder of The Skylark Collective.
Following the success of our Publisher Podcast Awards and Summit, we’re launching The Publisher Newsletter Awards! We want to celebrate newsletter excellence, share best practice and elevate the work publishers are doing in the space. Find out more here.