Research Narrative Presents: The THINKerry

🎧 Episode 4:

The Future of Media, Tech, and Regulation

What’s in Store for the Regulatory Environment of Media & Media Technology? 

August 1, 2019

“It’s hard to find the right solutions when you’re having the wrong conversations.”

-Kerry Edelstein, Research Narrative President and Founder

In June 2019, the News Media Alliance released an analysis that accused the tech industry of posing what NPR coined “an existential threat to media.” The organization claimed that Google derives an estimated $4.7 billion in annual revenue from local news publishers’ content and shortchanges local news outlets of revenue needed to pay reporters – a claim that journalists themselves called into question. News Media Alliance President and CEO David Chavern suggested that bipartisan legislation allowing online publishers to work together to bargain with tech platforms would be a necessary solution.

The claim sounds compelling. But is it legitimate? Or is it driving legislators down the wrong regulatory path? After all, many local news outlets themselves are owned by parent companies like Gannett and Hearst, who possess significant negotiating power.

Tech companies like Google and Facebook indeed render media organizations beholden to their algorithms and paid placements to drive website traffic. And there’s an argument to be made that the threat of tech to media is, in fact, quite real. But are the regulatory measures in progress an actual solution? Are legislators even having the right conversation when it comes to meaningful and effective regulation of the tech industry? On this episode of the Thinkerry, we aim to educate you on the distinction between media and tech companies, the role of algorithms vs. monopoly behavior, how online media ad monetization really works, and what conversations we need to be having about media and tech regulation as America faces its next election cycle.  

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