Social & Digital Lunchbreak: Facebook doesn't care, the spawn of news and conspiracies - and two vital jobs

Your lunchtime digest of social and digital news, reminding us of Facebook's indifference, and the impact of Covid-19 on what is important reporting right now…

Adam Tinworth
Adam Tinworth

Facebook: doesn't care about news

This is your periodic reminder that we — still — need Facebook far more than Zuckerberg's empire needs news. It's been quite clear about that for years, and this message reinforces that.

The percentage of most people's newsfeeds that is made up of national news stories is really quite small. And people would keep coming back to the site, even if that went to zero. Most people are on the app to connect with friends, family and neighbours, not read news stories.

This, if nothing else, should be a stark reminder of why we need to develop direct reader engagement strategies, not mediated ones.

Facebook says it doesn’t need news stories for its business and won’t pay to share them in Australia
Social media giant rejects ACCC proposal, saying it could cut out news completely without any significant impact on its business

Meshing the language of news and conspiracy theories

For years, we've used a distinct formula of news package as a shorthand for authority, particualrly in broadcast journalism. Couple that forumla with the psychological appeal of conspiracy theories - the sense that you are an insider because you "get" the "secret" the "sheeple" can't see… well, it's a toxic brew. And, as this article makes plain, the internet and the advance in digital recording technology has facilitated this. Anyone can shoot near-professional quality video in the familiar languge of news. And people are drawn in by it.

How do we counter this? If nothing else, this should be a stark reminder of why we need to develop direct reader engagement strategies, not mediated ones.

Oh, hang on, haven't I already said that? 🤔

The Mainstream Media Won’t Tell You This
Peddle misinformation. Cry “conspiracy” when no one else reports it. Repeat.

Community Management: don't make your loyal readers feel unimportant

Good piece from the community management experts at FeverBee. Suddenly parachuting in an influencer or other major figure makes everyone else feel suddenly lesser. Anyone thinking deeply about engaged journalism can learn a lot from the underlying psychology of this.

The Influencer/Superuser Problem | FeverBee
Superuser programs and influencer programs typically target two groups. One group has built a reputation inside of your community (superusers) and the other outside of your community (influencers). You run into trouble when you provide... #communitymanagement #onlinecommunities #onlinecommunity

B2B in the pandemic

The key B2B titles in the medical field have been right at the centre of the reporting of our response to the pandemic. We've seen HSJ stories widely circulated - and The Lancet has also been critical, although not without controversy.

Good to see these deeply expert journalists getting national prominence, though.

The Lancet’s editor: ‘The UK’s response to coronavirus is the greatest science policy failure for a generation’
Richard Horton does not hold back in his criticism of the UK’s response to the pandemic and the medical establishment’s part in backing fatal government decisions

Which bring us to…

Jobs Alert

My friends at Nursing Standard are advertising for two jobs.

With apologies to my non-UK readers, I probably don't need to point out how vital these jobs are right now: we need the very best journalists both reporting on nursing and issues around it, and keeping the nurses themselves infomed. The key medical titles are doing good work right now, and the need good colleagues to keep it going.

If you're looking for work - and looking to make a difference right now - take a look:

Nursing Standard, Features Editor job with RCNi | 100807
<p>Nursing Standard is looking for a dynamic features editor who can commission and edit compelling written and multimedia content and knows how to use social media to engage their audience.<br /> <br /> This is an excellent opportunity to join an ambitious team at a time when healthcare issues ha…
Nursing Standard, News Editor job with RCNi | 100806
<p><strong><u>Exciting opportunity</u></strong><br /> <br /> Nursing Standard is looking for an experienced news editor who can set the agenda with exclusive stories and build on the excellent engagement we have developed with our audience through our online content and social media channels.<br /…

Facebookconspiracy theoriesmisinformationB2Bjobsnursing standard

Adam Tinworth Twitter

Adam is a lecturer, trainer and writer. He's been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 30. He lectures on audience strategy and engagement at City, University of London.