Mathew Ingram, Columbia Journalism Review

Mathew Ingram

Columbia Journalism Review

Toronto, ON, Canada

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Recent articles by Mathew:

What comes after we get rid of objectivity in journalism?

The killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, and the protests that followed, helped spark a debate in many newsrooms and journalism schools around the country about the time-honored principle of objectivity in journalism, and whether it serves any useful purpose. Former Washington Post reporter Wesley Lowery wrote in the New York Times […] → Read More

Bowing to pressure, Google says it will pay publishers for news

For the better part of a decade, publishers have been begging (or threatening) Google, seeking compensation for the news they provide on its platform. And for all of those years, Google has adamantly refused—until now. On Thursday, Google announced that, later this year, it will introduce a new product focused on “high quality” news and, […] → Read More

Objectivity isn’t a magic wand

The protests over the death of George Floyd and the way they have been covered (or not covered) by newsrooms around the country has widened existing stress fractures in journalism around the topic of race. One of the things that is being called into question is the concept of objectivity. Wesley Lowery, a reporter with […] → Read More

Are digital giants like Facebook destructive by design?

The most benign view of Google, Facebook, and Amazon is that any social or political disruption and turmoil these behemoths have caused is a side-effect of the beneficial services they provide, and any over-sized market power they have is the result of good old-fashioned hard work or an accident of economics and technology. But what […] → Read More

Should Google and Facebook be forced to pay for content?

In a recent column for the New York Times, media writer Ben Smith wrote about how regulators in Australia and France are moving to force digital platforms like Google and Facebook to pay media companies directly for the content they carry from publishers, in the wake of new copyright rules set by the European Union […] → Read More

When a billionaire owner isn’t enough

Before COVID-19 brought financial disaster to American media outlets, one of the escape routes some journalists sought was a billionaire buy-out. It seemed to work for the Atlantic magazine. In 2017, when David Bradley, the chairman and former controlling shareholder of Atlantic Media, sold a majority stake to Emerson Collective, an organization run by Laurene […] → Read More

Coronavirus patterns make local news even more important

During the coronavirus pandemic, Ed Yong, a staff writer for The Atlantic, has written an impressive series of in-depth articles on the virus that causes COVID-19 and the often confusing details about how it has spread, what medical experts say we should be doing about it, and what governments have actually been doing (or not […] → Read More

Experts weigh in on Facebook’s new Oversight Board

Almost two years after it first started talking about the idea, Facebook finally announced the members of its Oversight Board, the “Supreme Court” that will—theoretically, at least—have the ability to overrule Facebook and its chief executive Mark Zuckerberg about whether certain types of content should be taken down or not. The 20 initial members were […] → Read More

Facebook’s new oversight board: Supreme Court or fig leaf?

Two years ago Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder and chief executive of Facebook, first raised the idea of an independent “Supreme Court” that might help regulate content on the network. Now, the first members of what it calls its Oversight Board have been named. The company released details of the 20 appointees on Wednesday morning, and also […] → Read More

What needs to be done to help the media industry?

If it wasn’t already obvious that the media industry was in dire straits before the coronavirus came along, it has become abundantly obvious now. Every day, it seems, news outlets large and small are announcing waves of furloughs, salary cuts, and layoffs for significant numbers of their employees—the Los Angeles Times, Tribune Publishing, Conde Nast, […] → Read More

Protocol layoffs raise some troubling questions

When Protocol, a new site focusing on technology coverage, launched in February, expectations were high. After all, the man behind the site—Robert Allbritton, who owns it through his holding company, Capital News—also helped create Politico, one of the most successful digital media companies of the last 20 years or so. And it sounded like Protocol […] → Read More

Amplifying the coronavirus protests

As the coronavirus quarantine stretches into its second month, some people are pushing the boundaries of the lockdown restrictions. Many of them are just going for a drive or trying to play Frisbee in a park. But in a number of cases, groups of protesters have gathered at town halls and other government buildings, or […] → Read More

The good news trend: Uplifting? Delusional? Both?

Since we are currently in a global pandemic that has caused the deaths of tens of thousands of people and the closure of stores, restaurants, and other hallmarks of normal life, it’s not surprising many people are searching for things to take their minds off the gloom. And what they are clinging to—and sharing on […] → Read More

Coronavirus continues to take its toll on the media industry

It’s hard to imagine an industry more poorly prepared for the arrival of a global pandemic than the media business. Even before “coronavirus” became a household word, the industry was already reeling from a series of body blows, most of them delivered by Google and Facebook and their dominance of the advertising market. Since 2008, […] → Read More

How did the digital giants get so big, and what should we do about it?

In recent years a handful of giant digital platforms, including Google, Amazon, and Facebook, have grown in dominance. Each one has a market value of half a trillion dollars or more, and almost total control over some of the key levers in the digital economy: Search, online advertising, retail sales, and social networking. That has […] → Read More

What Google and Facebook need to do to fight disinformation

Both Google and Facebook have acted surprisingly quickly to remove disinformation related to the COVID-19 virus over the past few weeks, considering their somewhat mixed track record when it comes to removing hoaxes, conspiracy theories, and trolls related to political campaigns. But experts there is still a lot more that they and other digital platforms […] → Read More

Zoom under pressure

It’s the kind of problem many companies would love to have: suddenly people are using your product by the millions, to the point that it has become mission-critical for many, including journalists. Unfortunately for Zoom, what caused the demand (the company says 20 times more people are using the software now than used it in […] → Read More

How metro papers are dealing with the pressure of COVID-19

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact an ever-widening group of cities and states, it is challenging media outlets both big and small — not just because it puts pressure on already stretched newsrooms in terms of reporting resources, but because it is also affecting the financial side of the industry, with advertising revenue declines […] → Read More

The challenges of reporting on a global pandemic

Over the past several weeks, the coronavirus known as COVID-19 has become a full-blown global pandemic. Schools and restaurants are closed, stock markets are plummeting, and millions of people are trying to navigate a new world of social distancing and self-isolation. As the number of those infected and hospitalized continues to mount, journalists are working […] → Read More

Twitter plans misinfo labels, but are they a good idea?

As part of its effort to deal with the spread of misinformation on its platform, Twitter is experimenting with adding colored labels that would appear directly beneath any inaccurate statements posted by politicians and other public figures, according to a leaked demo of new features sent recently to NBC. The labels would contain fact-checks either […] → Read More