FT.LK: Media ethics & advertorials in Sri Lanka

Cross-posted on socialmedia.lk

This article on the ft.lk is an example of dubious media ethics in Sri Lanka. I point it out not to nitpick, but because it is indicative of an industry that is crucial to the health of a nation. A robust and trustworthy news industry is a vital component of a healthy society.

The ft.lk newspaper seems to be using technology provided by a company called Emojet to run a poll online. While there is nothing inherently wrong with this, it is disturbing to see what seems to be an advertorial masquerading as a news article on the home page of the ft.lk website.

This article is shoddy journalism not just because it isn’t clearly marked as an advertorial. Many of the claims contained in it bear more relationship to a press release and do not seems to be substantiated in any way.

Most egregious is the claim:

Digital platforms such as the online paper (www.ft.lk), its FB page (https://www.facebook.com/dailyft/), twitter (@FT_SriLanka) and Whatsapp were all utilized to share the link. In 48 hours a wide array of responses from Sri Lanka and across the globe were received.

This appears to be hugely dubious. The tweet from the FT has only seven retweets and seven likes.

The Facebook post has no likes, shares or comments.

Articles like this undermine the credibility of the ft.lk as both a news source and an advertising platform and ultimately benefit no-one.

Facebook vs. YouTube: battling over music

Two recent analyses highlighted an increasingly heated battle over the dominant player in music video streaming.

Music video is streaming music’s killer app. According to MIDiA’s latest consumer survey, 45% of consumers watch music videos on YouTube or Vevo every month, while 25% of consumers use YouTube for music every week (more than any of the streaming audio services). So what YouTube and Vevo do has real impact.

– Source

The world’s largest social network has redoubled its efforts to reach a broad accord with the industry, according to interviews with negotiators at labels, music publishers and trade associations. A deal would govern user-generated videos that include songs and potentially pave the way for Facebook to obtain more professional videos from the labels themselves.

– Source

Digital Giants Tighten Their Grip on Top Media Owner Ranking

With both companies being increasingly cast a media companies, this is a key confrontation. Music is a key driver for online video and in the case of YouTube, the stats are very telling.

Share of U.S. population who have used YouTube to watch music videos or listen to music

 

 

Gary Hart and why Trump was inevitable.

We’re all going to have to seriously question the system for selecting our national leaders, for it reduces the press of this nation to hunters and Presidential candidates to being hunted.

In an episode of the excellent Axe-Files podcast featuring the equally excellent Matt Bai, the Gary Hary scandal and Bai’s book on it were discussed. Having only a passing familiarity with the incident, I was intrigued by the suggestion that it was a precursor to the age of Trump and by an apparently prescient statement by Hart withdrawing his candidacy.  Looking at a transcript of the statement, there are certainly aspects of it that have resonance today.

Politics in this country – take it from me – is on the verge of becoming another form of athletic competition or sporting match. We all better do something to make this system work or we’re all going to be soon rephrasing Jefferson to say: I tremble for my country when I think we may, in fact, get the kind of leaders we deserve.

I’ve quoted above extracts that immediately seemed significant to me in the Trump era. This next quote seems all too relevant as well and perhaps it was inevitable that once the system was sufficiently distorted, the only person who could emerge triumphantly was someone immune to the worst aspects of it.

I was going to be the issue. Now, I don’t want to be the issue. And I cannot be the issue, because that breaks the link between me and the voters. And that’s what I tried to explain to my children.

If someone’s able to throw up a smokescreen and keep it up there long enough, you can’t get your message across. You can’t raise the money to finance a campaign; there’s too much static, and you can’t communicate.

In the final analysis, the American people decide what qualities are important to govern this country in the national interest. And they haven’t been heard from yet.