Facebook Announces New Feature, Facebook News, Which will Pay Some Outlets Millions for Content

Facebook is rolling out a new feature, Facebook News, which is commonly being referred to as the News Tab. The feature will deliver news from 200 sources, including Breitbart News, to users of the social network. The company will also fund a selection of the 200 news sources, although it won’t say which ones or how much.

Admin Note: It seems that since these outlets can’t get anyone to watch them on television, they’ve figured out a new way to get a captive audience… and just in time as 2019 became the first year that Americans spent more time on their devices than watching TV.

The list of 200 sources includes mostly mainstream news sources, including USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, The New York Times, Condé Nast, Hearst, Business Insiders, and NBC. Some conservative outlets, including Breitbart News and Fox News, are also on the list.

Content from the 200 sources will be delivered to users via Facebook’s new “News Tab.” The content will in part be manually curated by a team of in-house journalists at the social network.

Mark Zuckerberg hosted publishers at an event in New York on Friday October 25th as part of the feature’s rollout, which will initially be to a limited number of users.

Associated Press reports that some – not all – of the 200 publishers will be paid “millions of dollars in some cases” for content, although Facebook has again remained silent about the details, saying only that it will pay “a range of publishers for access to all of their content.”

It is unclear how Facebook decided which of the 200 publishers to pay, what they are paying for, or how the company came to its decisions.

In a press release, Facebook VP of Global News Partnerships, Campbell Brown, said: “We talked to news organizations about what they’d like to see included in a news tab, how their stories should be presented and what analytics to provide.”

“We wanted to build this product in a consultative way, sharing our ideas and getting input from the industry,” wrote Brown.

Eligible publishers must be in Facebook’s News Page Index, and must meet a “range of integrity signals in determining product eligibility, including misinformation — as identified based on third-party fact checkers — community standards violations (e.g., hate speech), clickbait, engagement bait and others.”

Facebook has revealed a list of Facebook News’s features, which will include:

  • “Today’s Stories,” a selection of news stories for users picked by a team of journalists. (This may generate further questions about Facebook acting like a publisher, a point that has been regularly raised by members of congress and senators).
  • Personalization, that will send Facebook News readers new stories and sources based on what they have previously read, shared, or followed.
  • Controls that allow users to hide topics and publishers they don’t want to see.
  • In addition to paying publishers directly, Facebook News will link to publishers’ websites and apps, where they can collect ad revenue from readers.

In a tweet, USA Today said Facebook is making an effort to “highlight news from trusted and credible publishers.”

The New York Times, which is one of the publishers Facebook handpicked to feature in its new section, reported the new feature as a “truce with publishers,” which have long attacked the social network for damaging the news industry.

New York Times spokeswoman told Ad Age that “Facebook is taking a welcome first step toward recognizing the differential value of New York Times journalism.”

Source: Breitbart News

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Swiss Propaganda Research center (SPR) Releases Research that Ties All American Media to the Council on Foreign Relations

Largely unbeknownst to the general public, executives and top journalists of almost all major US news outlets have long been members of the influential Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).

Established in 1921 as a private, bipartisan organization to “awaken America to its worldwide responsibilities”, the CFR and its close to 5000 elite members for decades have shaped US foreign policy and public discourse about it. As a well-known Council member famously explained, they transformed the American republic into a global empire, albeit a “bene­volent” one.

Based on official membership rosters, the following illustration depicts for the first time the extensive media network of the CFR and its two major international affiliate organizations: the Bilderberg Group (mainly covering the US and Europe) and the Trilateral Commission (covering North America, Europe and East Asia), both established by Council leaders to foster elite cooperation at the global level.

Click Image to Enlarge

In a column entitled “Ruling Class Journalists”, former Washington Post senior editor and ombudsman Richard Harwood described the Council and its members approvingly as “the nearest thing we have to a ruling establishment in the United States”.

Harwood continued: “The membership of these journalists in the Council, however they may think of themselves, is an acknowledgment of their active and important role in public affairs and of their ascension into the American ruling class. They do not merely analyze and interpret foreign policy for the United States; they help make it. () They are part of that establishment whether they like it or not, sharing most of its values and world views.”

However, media personalities constitute only about five percent of the overall CFR network. As the following illustration shows, key members of the private Council on Foreign Relations have included:

  • several US Presidents and Vice Presidents of both parties;
  • almost all Secretaries of State, Defense, and the Treasury;
  • many high-ranking commanders of the US military and NATO;
  • some of the most influential Members of Congress (notably in foreign & security policy);
  • almost all National Security Advisors, CIA Directors, Ambassadors to the U.N., Chairs of the Federal Reserve, Presidents of the World Bank, and Directors of the National Economic Council;
  • many prominent academics, especially in key fields such as Economics and Political Science;
  • many top executives of Wall Street, policy think tanks, universities, and NGOs;
  • as well as the key members of both the 9/11 Commission and the Warren Commission (JFK)

Harvard economist and Kennedy supporter, John K. Galbraith, confirmed the Council’s influence: “Those of us who had worked for the Kennedy election were tolerated in the government for that reason and had a say, but foreign policy was still with the Council on Foreign Relations people.”

Princeton University professor and former CFR member Stephen F. Cohen described the Council as “America’s single most important non-governmental foreign-policy organization”, whose primary role is to “define the accepted, legitimate, orthodox parameters of discussion.” According to Cohen, “the CFR really is what the Soviets used to call the very top-level of the Nomenklatura.”

And no less than John J. McCloy, the longtime chairman of the Council and advisor to several US presidents, recalled about his time in Washington: “Whenever we needed a man we thumbed through the roll of the Council members and put through a call to New York [i.e., the CFR headquarters].”

1945 to 2017: CFR members in key positions of the American Empire

German news magazine Der Spiegel once described the CFR as the “most influential private institution of the United States and the Western world” and a “politburo of capitalism”. Both the Roman-inspired logo of the Council (top right in the illustration above), as well as its slogan (ubique – omnipresent), appear to emphasize this ambition.

In his famous article about “The American Establishment”, political columnist Richard H. Rovere noted: “The directors of the CFR make up a sort of Presidium for that part of the Establishment that guides our destiny as a nation. () [I]t rarely fails to get one of its members, or at least one of its allies, into the White House. In fact, it generally is able to see to it that both nominees are men acceptable to it.”

Until recently, this assessment indeed was justified. Thus, in 1993 former CFR director George H.W. Bush was followed by CFR member Bill Clinton, who in turn was followed by CFR “family member” George W. Bush. In 2008, CFR member John McCain lost against CFR candidate of choice, Barack Obama, who received the names of his entire Cabinet already one month prior to his election by CFR Senior Fellow (and Citigroup banker) Michael Froman. Froman later negotiated the TPP and TTIP trade agreements, before returning to the CFR as a Distinguished Fellow.

It was not until the 2016 election that the Council couldn’t, apparently, prevail. At any rate, not yet.

References

  1. Council on Foreign Relations:
  2. Bilderberg conference: participant lists 1954 to 2014 and 2015-2017
  3. Trilateral Commission: membership lists of 19731978198519952010; and 2017
  4. Laurence H. Shoup (2015): Wall Street’s Think Tank: The Council on Foreign Relations and the Empire of Neoliberal Geopolitics, 1976-2014, Monthly Review Press.
  5. Wikipedia pages about the CFR, the Bilderberg Group, and the Trilateral Commission

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