Gladu says local media need immediate help to survive pandemic
September 4, 2020 1:02pm
Sarnia-Lambton’s MP says government has a role to play in helping smaller market radio and TV stations stay viable during the pandemic.
Marilyn Gladu pledged to advocate for Canadian media companies in response to a recent report that indicated as many as 200 private radio stations could close over the next two years.
The Communications Management Inc. (CMI) report said up to 2,000 jobs would be lost.
Gladu said community radio and television stations and newspapers are incredibly important and can’t be lost.
“The local news is incredibly valuable, where else are we going to hear about the local heroes stories, or what are the needs locally?” asked Gladu. “These are things that people tune into every day and learn about what’s going on in the community, and that would be totally lost if we went to something that was nationalized or didn’t have that local content.”
Gladu said immediate additional assistance is needed similar to the business loan and wage subsidy models because advertising revenues dry up when businesses are in distress.
“Absolutely, I think that we’ve seen that we’re not going to recover overnight from what’s happened under COVID, and I think that local radio stations and newspapers are equal victims in that, the same as small businesses that are having difficulty,” she said.
The MP also said the CMI report’s call for regulatory relief is timely. She noted the Conservative party’s new leader Erin O’Toole has ideas to modernize the media industry and create a level playing field.
Gladu said the Liberal government has significantly increased funding to the CBC which competes with and puts more pressure on the private sector.
She said a competitive landscape needs to be created while maintaining the independence of media, free of political interference.
The full CMI report can be found here.
Social media helping First Nations push moderate livelihood – TheChronicleHerald.ca
When Alexander MacDonald headed up to Burnt Church in 1999, he didn’t bring a smartphone.
They didn’t exist yet.
As lobster traps were being cut and boats and trucks were getting rammed around the northern New Brunswick First Nation, then 15-year-old Mark Zuckerberg was still learning Atari BASIC programming from his dentist father in their Dobbs Ferry, NY, home.
“We didn’t have Facebook at Burnt Church,” said MacDonald, a member of the Sipekne’katik First Nation who now fishes commercially out of Digby.
“What social media does today is gives us more support. It shows our side. It shows what the non-natives are doing to us.”
A citizenry who didn’t have the time or interest to read the Supreme Court of Canada’s decisions or the 250 year old treaties on which they’re based, looked at their phones last week and for a few minutes at a time were transported to St. Mary’s Bay where the large Cape Islanders of commercial fishermen came right at them.
Unlike in 1999 on Miramichi Bay, everyone on St. Mary’s Bay over the past two weeks was a potential publisher.
The Mi’kmaw got that.
“’Ninety-Six, ’97, ’98, ’99, we had all these fights – it didn’t start at Burnt Church, this was an every year thing,” said MacDonald.
“I can remember when I was a kid fishing in a brook, DNR coming at me telling me I’m not allowed to practice my right. So we knew that with them having H-Division, SWAT, Coast Guard, DFO, they had an army down there ready to put the Indian down if he tried to push back.”
Law and order was represented by two helicopters (one RCMP, one Coast Guard), Fisheries and Oceans enforcement boats, RCMP boats staged in Meteghan, an armoured vehicle and a Coast Guard Cutter.
But institutions and individuals all found themselves taking new roles this time around.
Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan didn’t return to Nova Scotia, and, unlike her predecessor during the Burnt Church crisis, didn’t direct federal authorities to intervene.
In the vacuum left by the federal government and a battle playing out on the water, the Nova Scotia Assembly of Mi’kmaw Chiefs took on the role of governing body.
They declared a state of emergency, set up a command centre, and along with the Sipekne’katik First Nation seized control of the Lower Saulnierville Wharf, provided regular public updates and media access.
Meanwhile, traditional media outlets coming out of Halifax were supplanted as the prime explainers of the local reality by a bearded Hants County weir fishermen who got 50,000 plus views on each of the unedited videos of him looking down at his cellphone and explaining both the Mi’kmaw and commercial fishermen’s perspectives.
Darren Porter assessed that the parties had been pitted against one another by Fisheries and Oceans – first by the federal government’s refusal to negotiate the implementation of a moderate livelihood fishery and then by its declaration that traps set by the Sipekne’katik First Nation were “unauthorized.”
“Fishing without a license is a violation under the Fisheries Act and anyone fishing outside the activities authorized under a license may be subject to enforcement action,” read a statement put out by the minister’s office on Sept 17.
“When (Bernadette Jordan) came out and said it was ‘unauthorized,’ she incited those (commercial) fishermen to believe they were doing the right thing in hauling the First Nations traps and that they had the moral high ground and the backing of Fisheries and Oceans,” said Porter.
“Which was incorrect. (First Nations) had a right to set those traps. Then she quickly changed her position to the opposite side. It was very craftily done.”
Asked if it was unfair to label the impact of the minister’s shifting positions as intentional, Porter responded, “Does it matter? The result is the same.”
On Tuesday, Porter, who is also spokesman for the Fundy United Fishermen’s Association, was in his open aluminum boat researching marine life in the Minas Passage with two Mi’kmaw representatives and a scientist.
He warned the real damage done by the recent conflict was to relations between two communities who will be sharing St. Mary’s Bay.
“All the parties need to get to a point of respectful dialogue. Once (they) get to that point – they can say ‘let’s do something together,’” said Porter.
“The answer is joint science – send out representatives working together to answer the core questions about the resource and the fishery that both sides believe they are right on. While they are doing that and coming to conclusions they can both agree on because they worked together, they will also be building relationships.”
The Sipekne’katik First Nation issued a press release Tuesday saying a “respectful” dialogue had begun in the negotiations with Fisheries and Oceans Canada over the implementation of its moderate livelihood fishery.
But for his part, MacDonald remains skeptical.
He expects to the federal government to try and buy the First Nations off from pursuing a moderate livelihood fishery by offering up more commercial licenses. Sipekne’katik currently has 15 licenses in lobster fishing areas 33, 34 and 35. Provided by Fisheries and Oceans, the band leases the majority out to non-aboriginal fishermen. So while they provide revenue, they don’t provide the access to the fishery for individual members acknowledged as a right by the Supreme Court.
After Burnt Church, MacDonald went to work on commercial fishing boats on the South Shore.
He got his captain’s papers, built an enterprise and his own lobster pound.
Even fishing commercial licenses, he says he’s had his traps cut and no help from Fisheries and Oceans.
“The difference between 1999 and today is that because of social media, because of cell phones, we share our story with the world and we can reach one another quickly and shut this country down,”said MacDonald, referring to blockades of railways and roadways across Canada earlier this year.
“We’re connected right across Canada. You can’t ignore us anymore.”
Breaking Up Facebook Won't Fix Social Media – Harvard Business Review
There’s political pressure to break up Facebook, but that wouldn’t solve the problems that the social-media giant presents. To begin with, it wouldn’t even increase competition in the long run, because social-media platforms enjoy network effects, which always tip towards monopoly or near-monopoly. More importantly, it wouldn’t do anything to safeguard consumer privacy, protect election integrity, balance the need for free speech against the evils of hate speech, or slow the spread of misinformation. For those, we need structural reform.
The Social Dilemma is one of the hottest films on Netflix. For those who haven’t seen it, it’s a wake up call to the dangers of social media — and I’m a big fan. We need to focus attention on this issue; the alarm has been building since films like The Great Hack and books like Surveillance Capitalism and Zucked were published. My new book, The Hype Machine, starts where those movies and books leave off by asking: what can we do, practically speaking, to fix the social media crisis we find ourselves in?
One idea I discuss at length in the book is whether breaking up Facebook will fix the social media morass. Antitrust regulators are certainly eager to dismantle the world’s largest social network. Their argument for doing so cites a litany of real harms, including the erosion of privacy, the spread of misinformation and hate speech, the acceleration of political polarization, and threats to the integrity of elections. Competition, they argue, will force Facebook to fix these problems. However, ill-conceived antitrust action, without structural reform, will not only fail to solve them, it will make matters worse. To understand why, consider the economic logic of these businesses.
Social media markets tip toward monopoly because of network effects: The value of a networked platform is a function of the number of people connecting to it. As more people use the product, its value to everyone increases. The greater the number of people on a network, the greater its gravitational pull. The greater its gravitational pull, the greater the grip it has on current customers. Breaking Facebook up into its component parts might slow that process down — but it won’t change the fact that, in the long run, network effects create monopolies or near-monopolies.
The people running social media companies bolster the tendency toward monopoly by making it difficult for users to walk away: they make the their platforms incompatible with each other and keep an iron grip on the data we upload to them (and that they collect about us). If we leave Facebook or Instagram, we lose our pictures, our conversations, our very memories. We don’t want to give those things up — and we also don’t want to lose the relationships involved. These high-tech walled gardens, which are so difficult to leave, combine with network effects to tip these companies even further toward monopoly.
Creating competition in the social media economy is essential: imagine the positive effects for consumers if social media giants were competing to safeguard consumers’ privacy, for example. But while competition can help force platforms to compete for our attention with designs that protect our societal values, the market forces that push social media companies toward monopolies will remain even if Facebook is dismantled. Breaking up Facebook does nothing to promote the market conditions needed to sustain competition because network effects will simply push the next Facebook-like company into a dominant position. Breaking up one company won’t change the underlying market economics.
There’s a cost to getting this wrong. Network effects create substantial economic benefits for billions of people around the world. As those benefits depend on the connections we make through social media, dismantling the networks will reduce the benefits without addressing the economic forces that drive the social economy towards concentration. Economic measures like GDP and productivity growth don’t capture the consumer value that Facebook creates, because users don’t pay to be on Facebook. (And because they’re not captured, they’re easy for regulators to ignore.) But the value is real: researchers at MIT and Stanford have investigated how much people would need to be paid to give up Facebook; it turns out that ordinary people put a very high value on the service. The research estimates Facebook generates about $370 billion a year in consumer benefits in the U.S. alone. Now, imagine those benefits worldwide.
The antitrust case against Facebook ignores these economic conditions, and it does nothing to directly protect privacy, distinguish free speech from hate speech, ensure election integrity, or reduce fake news. In fact, it will make addressing these harms more difficult by creating more social platforms to regulate and oversee. Rather than politically expedient trust busting, we need structural reform — first to catalyze the competition that a breakup will fail to achieve and then to unwind the market failures wrought by the social economy, one by one. Let’s look at a few structural reforms that would helps us achieve the promise — and avoid the peril — of social media.
Making social networks interoperable and giving consumers the right to export their data. To foster competition, we need legislation that makes social media networks interoperable and allows consumers to take their data and their social networks to competing companies, as happens in the telecommunications industry. Number portability made cellular services more competitive: When the European Union insisted on the ability to take your mobile number, and thus your network of contacts who knew you by that number, to other services in the early 2000’s, the policy increased economic welfare by 880 million euros per quarter across 15 EU countries, accounting for 15% of the observed increase in consumer surplus from 1999 to 2006. Interoperability also leveled the playing field in chat messaging. When the FCC forced AOL to make AIM interoperable with Yahoo, MSN Messenger, and others in 2002, AOL’s market share in instant messaging fell from 65% to 59% one year later, to just over 50% three years after that. In 2018, AIM ceded the entire chat market to Apple, Facebook, Snapchat, and Google. Legislation like the bipartisan ACCESS Act would do the same for social media, forcing platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, to make their social networks interoperable and giving consumers the right to export their data.
Safeguarding election integrity. Congress should pass targeted legislation like the FIRE Act, the SECURE Our Democracy Act, and the Voting System Cybersecurity Act to harden our elections. In addition to fighting fake news, social media companies must make firm, verifiable, and enforceable commitments to make data available for research into social media’s effects on democracy. Risk-limited election audits should safeguard against attacks on our outdated voting systems. The details could be worked out in a bipartisan National Commission on Democracy and Technology.
Protecting privacy and data. Federal privacy legislation must harmonize ad hoc state policies and balance the moral, practical, and utilitarian importance of privacy with the need for data sharing to support investigative journalism, scientific research, commercial applications of machine learning, audits of election integrity, and the economic surplus generated by the advertising economy.
Attacking the spread of misinformation. To slow the spread of misinformation, the platforms must use algorithms, employees, and the crowd to label fake news, make sources transparent, prohibiting advertising next to false content, limit resharing (as WhatsApp did to slow the spread of Covid-19 misinformation), and demote verifiable health or political misinformation in search results. Meanwhile public and private education should reemphasize media literacy and critical thinking.
Finding a better balance between free speech and hate speech. To protect free speech while curtailing harmful speech, we must draw sensible boundaries around the protection from civil liability afforded to the social media platforms by section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996. Section 230 makes a free and open internet possible. Removing it would limit internet freedom and make many of the world’s largest online businesses unworkable. However, regulations can limit the cases under which 230 applies. Rather than have politically appointed commissions like the FTC or the FCC deciding under executive orders when 230 should apply, representative, deliberative legislative boundaries, similar to FOSTA-SESTA, should be drawn to balance free and harmful speech.
Breaking up Facebook could take 10 years. By the time that happened, the landscape of social media would look nothing like it does today. Forward-looking legislation that ensures competition, open markets, and a level playing field, alongside market and legislative remedies for misinformation, privacy, free speech, and election integrity, will chart a more productive path than backward-looking attempts to unwind networks and companies that already exist.
Clarion calls are great. But it’s time we moved past them to real, practical solutions. We don’t have time to waste debating whether social media is good or evil. By now we know it has tremendous promise and the potential for significant peril. We must shift the conversation from how fast we are approaching the impeding rocks to how we steer this ship toward calmer waters. The time for action is now.
Social Media Campaigns Can Improve Engagement with Revenue-Generating Content
Many associations judge the success of their social media campaigns by likes, rather than whether that content leads users to engage further on their site. Changing how social media is used and measured can improve engagement and help generate revenue.
In today’s COVID-19 world, all associations are looking for ways to maintain revenue and membership. Social media can help, but only if you use it right, contends Dan Stevens, president of WorkerBee.TV, Inc.
“Social media is a really a low-cost recruitment tool, advocacy tool, and marketing tool, if used effectively,” Stevens said. However, “if you are publishing full stories, full videos, full anything on social media, you are accelerating your own demise.”
The problem with using social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even LinkedIn to publish your content is that it leaves your members and prospects on the social media platform, rather than drawing them to your site, where they can dive deep into all your association has to offer.
“I always joke that likes are for losers,” Stevens said. “It’s about awareness and conversion, not likes.”
So, how does an association use social media as a jumping off point to pull people into their content, particularly paid offerings? Stevens recommends a drip approach, where you offer a tiny snippet—micromarketing—to pull people to your site.
“Micromarketing gives awareness and pulls people into the full story on your ecosystem and your brand, where you can monetize with advertising or pay per view,” Stevens said. “They may say, ‘This is good, and I’m going to sign up and do something for free.’ And that’s how the internet works: People have to try before they buy. What you [as an association] have to do is create those experiences to pull people in.”
The good news is that associations are poised to easily create these experiences because they have awesome content. Stevens noted that in a typical year most associations only get about 15 percent of their members to attend their annual meeting. “When you interview members, they always say the meeting is a top benefit and has the best content,” Stevens said, noting the association’s best content should go wider than 15 percent of members.
But this year, with most associations moving to virtual conferences, they now have recorded sessions chockfull of good content they can use to draw people into their ecosystem.
“Why not take that great one-hour session and produce a three-minute version for your website and a 30-second social media version,” he said. Then post the 30-second version on social, where people can click through to see the three-minute version on your site. Associations can then charge for access to the full session or place it behind a member paywall. “We are seeing incredible conversion rates, when you go from micromarketing to microlearning to full learning,” Stevens said.
That said, Stevens notes that every interaction doesn’t have to be about pulling members back to your platform. Staying on platform and engaging can be useful at times. “Social media is a great way for you to have a two-way conversation in real time,” Stevens said. “It is a great way to test ideas, test themes, and see if people in a specific category care about topics. It’s a chance to post content and take a pulse of what’s important to the audience you are attracting and that may influence your programming mix.”
Whatever mix you use on social media, the key is to make sure that it makes sense from a revenue-generating perspective. “If you can’t convert, you’ve basically built another cost center, not a profit center,” Stevens said.
If an association finds its members aren’t as active on social media and wonders if devoting limited resources to this is a good idea, Stevens said that social media is also where you’re going to find your future members.
“If my future recruitment is based on attracting the young demographic who views content as free and thinks ‘I can find everything online, why do I need to pay?’ then you really have to engage to get them,” he said. “You have to get them to engage in your environment, so they can say, ‘This is worth paying for.’”
What social media techniques are you using to engage with your audience? Share in the comments.
Source: – Associations Now
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