Mathew Ingram, Columbia Journalism Review

Mathew Ingram

Columbia Journalism Review

Toronto, ON, Canada

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Recent articles by Mathew:

TikTok, a political football, is still up in the air

The political drama surrounding TikTok, the popular Chinese-owned video-sharing app, already seemed to be at a fever pitch in recent weeks: as the clock ticked down on an executive order from Donald Trump that gave the company a deadline to sell the app or be banned, a counter order from the Chinese government prevented TikTok […] → Read More

How can we fight surveillance capitalism?

Over the past decade, we’ve seen the rise of a new kind of corporate power, one built on an almost unprecedented level of digital surveillance, fueled by the demands of the global advertising industry—a phenomenon that Harvard professor emerita Shoshana Zuboff calls “surveillance capitalism.” Google, Facebook, and Amazon have built businesses that are worth trillions, […] → Read More

Facebook’s belated, vague, unhelpful election idea

On Thursday, Mark Zuckerberg, the chief executive of Facebook, wrote of his worry that “with our nation so divided and election results potentially taking days or even weeks to be finalized, there could be an increased risk of civil unrest across the country.” So Facebook announced a series of steps designed, Zuckerberg said, to verify […] → Read More

China throws a wrench into TikTok acquisition plans

Over the past year or so, the TikTok video-sharing app has become one of the hottest mobile services. But it has also become one of the largest political footballs in recent memory, thanks to an executive order that Donald Trump issued in early August, banning TikTok and a chat app called WeChat. Why? Because they […] → Read More

Facebook threatens to block Australian news if law goes ahead

Two weeks ago, Google started showing users in Australia a popup message, warning that some of the company’s services might be impaired as a result of a proposed content-licensing law, which would require large digital platforms to pay publishers in return for linking to their articles. At the time, Facebook said it had no public […] → Read More

Voice of America staff rebel over new CEO’s comments

A group of journalists who work for Voice of America, the US state-backed broadcaster, sent management a letter of protest Monday denouncing the new chief executive of the US Agency for Global Media, which oversees VOA and a number of other similar media outlets. In the letter, the staffers allege that comments made by Michael […] → Read More

What should we do about QAnon now that it has gone mainstream?

Not that long ago, the jumble of conspiracy theories and magical thinking known as QAnon was seen by many—if they knew of it at all—as a sideshow confined to the dark corners of the internet, alternative communities like 4chan and 8chan, where people with a screw loose muttered to each other about the deep state. […] → Read More

Google plays hardball in Australia over news payment law

Google users in Australia started seeing a warning pop up on their search pages this week: a yellow triangle with an exclamation mark inside it, and a message that said “The way Aussies use Google is at risk.” Those who clicked on the popup were taken to an open letter from Mel Silva, managing director […] → Read More

The QAnon cult is growing and the media is helping

Stocks and bonds may be weak, but we’re still in a raging bull market for one commodity, and that is disinformation. That’s thanks in large part to the fact that President Donald Trump creates and distributes so much of it himself, both through his Twitter account but also in his official statements and briefings from […] → Read More

Sumner Redstone, Viacom founder and old-fashioned media mogul, dies at 97

Redstone died on Tuesday, at 97. He controlled large swaths of the American media landscape in his career, and he held onto that control with an iron grip, even to the detriment of his relationships with his own family. → Read More

The tech titans appeared before Congress—now what?

Last week, the chief executives of the four major tech platforms—Google, Amazon, Apple, and Facebook—appeared before Congress (virtually, at least) as part of a year-long investigation into whether antitrust regulators need to take action against any or all of them for anti-competitive behavior. Was the hearing mostly a sideshow, or was it a sign that […] → Read More

The tech titans go (virtually) to Washington

Like the old tale of the blind men describing an elephant, Wednesday’s congressional antitrust hearing with the heads of Google, Apple, Amazon, and Facebook differed dramatically according to your perspective. The Wall Street Journal said the six-hour hearing showed that there was room for compromise between the way Republicans perceive the technology giants and the […] → Read More

Campaign organizers say Facebook boycott will continue

For the past several weeks, Facebook has been the subject of a boycott campaign that has called on advertisers to pull their business from the social network, citing a failure to curb hate speech and other offensive content. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, and other senior staff from the company have met with some of […] → Read More

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