Matthew Ingram parses Emily Bell’s recent speech to British journalists and concludes the bottom line “is that journalists and technology companies or social platforms need to work together to figure out how to handle the atomized, networked and democratized media environment we all find ourselves in.” Facebook and Google are functioning as journalistic tools, even if they’re not strictly journalistic organizations, and they have a larger responsibility to society.
The relationship between technology companies and journalism is uneasy and complicated, but journalism needs to be at least an equal partner, according to Emily Bell, director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia Journalism School. Bell said the media has reached a point of transition. “News spaces are no longer owned by newsmakers. The press is no longer in charge of the free press and has lost control of the main conduits through which stories reach audiences. The public sphere is now operated by a small number of private companies, based in Silicon Valley.”