What we are reading
An occasional column on the stories on media innovation that are intriguing, engaging or alarming us
Columbia Journalism Review | The modern dilemma of TikTok journalism
The rise of TikTok has recently kicked off a debate among journalists and publishers about the safety and ethics of using and promoting the platform without giving adequate weight to the myriad of ways it might ultimately be compromised. Although more heinous data breaches have occurred recently at Twitter, and the consensus is that Facebook is at least as leaky with personal data, TikTok’s status as a Chinese-owned company puts use of the app — and attendant risks and ethical concerns — in a different category. TikTok’s parent company, the Chinese internet giant ByteDance, is based in Beijing; under China’s 2015 National Security Law, the Chinese government can compel ByteDance to share user data that is deemed relevant to perceived national security threats. To avoid the appearance of being compromised, TikTok was separated from ByteDance’s Chinese version of the app, Douyin, which exclusively operates in China.
News24 announced the launch of a digital subscription service. The cost of subscribing will be R75 per month and will give readers access to investigative and in-depth journalism, as well as opinions, analysis and views on news, politics, sport, business and lifestyle stories. A subscription will further include access to journalism from City Press, You, Drum and True Love magazines. News24 will also introduce exciting new features for subscribers, such as the ability to post comments, listen to articles, share subscriber-only articles with friends and choose from a bouquet of premium newsletters. The move is in line with a growing international trend to charge for online news content as the industry faces increasing economic pressures.
CNBC | Google will ban ads from running on stories spreading debunked coronavirus conspiracy theories
Google next month will ban publishers from using its ad platform to show advertisements next to content that promotes conspiracy theories about Covid-19. It will also ban ads that promote those theories. In cases where a particular site publishes a certain threshold of material that violates these policies, it will ban the entire site from using its ad platforms.