Top Stories About Media Disruption & PR Trends
By John Raffetto John Raffetto LinkedInJohn Raffetto Twitter

If you work in media and PR, you know the future is unclear. News is less trusted and understaffed, yet in some ways more powerful than ever before. We consume information from hundreds of alternate sources, yet we live in ever hardening bubbles.

Here are my Five Shot Friday reads to prepare you for what’s next. Grab your strongest morning beverage of choice and I’ll fill you in.

Friday March 26, 2021

  • Bad News Bias: New York Times
  • Few Facts, Millions Of Clicks: Fearmongering Vaccine Stories Go Viral Online: NPR
  • How Covid-19 Supercharged the Advertising ‘Triopoly’ of Google, Facebook and Amazon: Wall Street Journal
  • Why Is Tower Records Coming Back Now, of All Times?: Slate
  • The Preteen’s Guide to Getting Rich Off YouTube: Bloomberg

Friday March 19, 2021

Friday March 5, 2021

  • Is Substack the panacea local news is looking for?: Poynter
  • Clubhouse Won Over Elon Musk. Now It’s Conquering the World: Bloomberg
  • Google will stop selling ads based on tracked individual browsing history: CNET
  • Seeds of a lie: Antifa at Capitol riot: New York Times
  • The truthtellers – China created a story of the pandemic. These people revealed details Beijing left out: CNN

Friday February 26, 2021

  • The Obamas Are Following Politicians’ New Endgame: Becoming Content Creators: Slate
  • He Studied the Behavior of 150 Million People and Found There Are Only 8 Reasons Things Go Viral: Inc
  • Facebook says it will pay news industry $1 billion over 3 years: Axios
  • Microsoft joins forces with European news publishers: Financial Times
  • Facebook, Google, Microsoft, TikTok, and Twitter adopt Aussie misinformation code: ZD Net

Friday February 19, 2021

  • Facebook goes nuclear, banning all news posts in Australia: Ars Technica
  • Paywalls, Newsletters, and the New Echo Chamber: WIRED
  • It’s All Rigged: What Robinhood and Facebook have in common: The Atlantic
  • Clubhouse, a Tiny Audio Chat App, Breaks Through: New York Times
  • Why Traditional PR is dying: PR Week

Friday February 12, 2021

  • How the Covid-19 pandemic broke Nextdoor: Vox
  • Facebook is finally banning vaccine misinformation: Vox
  • When’s the best time to correct fake news? After someone’s already read it, apparently: NiemanLab
  • Now that Trump’s gone, media companies will have to figure out how news fits into streaming future: CNBC
  • 25 years ago today, the internet declared its independence — for better and for worse: NiemanLab

Friday February 5, 2021

  • A Fake Story about the Secretary of Defense Stole My Real Byline: DefenseNews
  • In Tiny Kansas Town, Pandemic Skeptics Abound Amid False Information and Politics: NPR
  • What the Next Generation of Editors Need to Tell their Political Reporters: PressWatch
  • Google’s next big Chrome update will rewrite the rules of the web: WIRED
  • Tim Cook on Why It’s Time to Fight the “Data-Industrial Complex”: GQ

Friday January 15, 2021

  • Trump Media Empire? Don’t Bet on It: Politico
  • The Mob that Stormed the Capital was its Own Media: CJR
  • Platform Ban of Trump and Parler Raises Questions About Speech and Power: CJR
  • The Role of PR in Stopping the Spread of Misinformation: RHetoric Blog
  • News Media: The East Coast Bias is Real: SOURCE

Friday January 8, 2021

  • Weeks of planning, online, in the open: BuzzFeed
  • Protest? Coup? Insurrection? The struggle to accurately report what was happening in real time: CJR
  • The Race to Preserve the DC Mob’s Digital Traces: WIRED
  • Right-wing media divided on Capitol chaos: CJR
  • Bad actors are returning to old-school methods of sowing chaos: NiemanLab

Friday December 18, 2020

  • Can Trump Still Win? Google Searches Reveal Hope: Newsweek
  • Defund the Crime Beat: NiemanLab
  • The 100k Club: Most popular subscription news websites in the world revealed: PressGazette
  • NPR’s Code Switch is an overnight sensation 7 years in the making: Poynter
  • Russia’s New Guerilla Media Are Going After Putin: Bloomberg

Friday December 4, 2020

  • Social media may have contributed to record voter turnout in the 2020 election: The Washington Post
  • The problems with the social media addiction theory: Axios
  • Tired Of The Social Media Rat Race, Journalists Move To Writing Substack Newsletters: NPR
  • How Jeff Bezos’ Washington Post is taking on Google and Facebook with ‘insanely unique’ ad technology for publishers: Press Gazette
  • Who Really Runs The Drudge Report? Tablet Magazine

Friday November 20, 2020

  • COVID-19 cases are increasing, and interest in COVID-19 news is falling Poynter
  • How well did Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube handle election misinformation? Slate
  • Why Were The Polls Off? Pollsters Have Some Early Theories: NPR
  • Google seems to agree that (French) news isn’t free – strikes payment plans with French media: Reuters
  • Brands have fun with ‘This claim is disputed’ Twitter meme: Ad Age

Friday November 13, 2020

  • Hey political reporters – get lost! Press Watchers
  • The social media managers are not okay: Medium
  • Why social media can’t keep moderating content in the shadows: Technology Review
  • Newsmax could end up being the Fox News of the post-Trump era: Fast Company
  • Four Seasons Total Landscaping cashes in, with merch: Business Insider

Friday October 30, 2020

  • Wikipedia’s notoriously slow and picky editor ranks are preparing for the election day editing onslaught: WIRED
  • The Lincoln Project built its brand antagonizing Trump from the right – now it wants to transform into a full time media business: Axios
  • Machine learning is helping smaller newsrooms know when to put up a paywall, and when to give it away for free: NiemanLab
  • $5 to text-chat 1-1 with your favorite columnists – Inc. is giving it a go: Digiday
  • The messy politics of Nextdoor: Recode

Friday October 23, 2020

  • AP to call elections for Alexa and other Big Tech channels: Axios
  • Why social media is so good at polarizing us. One popular solution might actually make the problem worse: WSJ
  • Facebook’s independent oversight board is now accepting cases: The Verge
  • What the FCC can and can’t do to Section 230: Recode
  • A survey of 4,850 influencers reveals how much money they’re asking brands to pay for Instagram sponsored content in 2020: Business Insider

Friday October 16, 2020

  • Making it up as they go… Twitter and Facebook wake up in the eye of a category 5 shitstorm with no escape route: The Verge
  • Local news is now often automated – and politically funded – yet the coders running Google News can’t tell the difference: CJR
  • But some local newspapers are profitable – and for sale: WVU
  • Make no mistake, YouTube is a major news platform in America. Especially for personalities (vs. media brands): Pew Research Center
  • “This gravy train is coming to an end.” News media begins to contemplate a post-Trump White House: Vanity Fair

Friday October 9, 2020

  • “A bigger and more relevant audience than most mainstream journalists and broadcasters” – when your teenage daughter is better at PR than you: Business Insider
  • Complex publishing networks and some Faustian bargains allow foreign propaganda to appear as news: Wall Street Journal
  • News Corp may actually be succumbing to the cable-ization of online news, much to the pleasure of Big Tech: Axios
  • Does changing the name alter the brand? Microsoft’s Bing search engine is now, well, “Microsoft Bing”: Inc
  • Thank you TikTok for giving us something else to numb ourselves with, even if it’s just cranberry juice: Entrepenuer

Friday October 2, 2020

  • Departing Verge editor Casey Newton has been thinking a lot about the future of news – and is betting on old fashioned email to deliver it: Medium
  • COVID pushes college newspapers to step into the void of local journalism: The Washington Post
  • If data and analytics are the future of PR, then why is Cision selling TrendKite? Business Insider
  • A cautionary tale of getting carried away with marketing claims – selling a product on Amazon doesn’t equal a “collaboration” with Amazon:  SlashGear
  • Urinating in the office coffee pot – a member of NIH’s communications team secretly waged war on his agency’s public information campaign: The Washington Post

Got a story to nominate for next week’s Five?  Email me.