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Illustration: Caresse Haaser, Rebecca Zisser/Axios
Dozens of new initiatives have launched over the past few years to address fake news and the erosion of faith in the media, creating a measurement problem of its own.
Why it matters: So many new efforts are launching simultaneously to solve the same problem that it’s become difficult to track which ones do what and which ones are partnering with each other.
To name a few:
There are also dozens of fact-checking efforts being championed by different third-parties, as well as efforts being built around blockchain and artificial intelligence.
Between the lines: Most of these efforts include some sort of mechanism for allowing readers to physically discern real journalism from fake news via some sort of badge or watermark, but that presents problems as well.
The big picture: Data from Gallup shows that confidence in media as an institution is at an all-time low, and both the media and the current political climate are probably to blame.
The bottom line: These efforts are valiant, and are most certainly helping to hold the ecosystem accountable for transparent journalism. But the field is so crowded right now it’s hard to see who is making progress.
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios
Forbes, the century-old business publisher, is joining forces with Civil, a journalism blockchain network, to become the first major media company to experiment with publishing stories to the blockchain.
Why it matters: Many publishers are skeptical of introducing blockchain technology into their supply chains, because it’s new and it’s difficult to understand. Forbes is sending a message to the industry that they think blockchain for journalism is the future.
The big picture: Forbes is experimenting with publishing a sample of its content to the Civil Network. Eventually, the broad goal is to one day migrate all of its published content over to the blockchain.
How it works: Forbes will plug in Civil’s software to its proprietary content management system, called “Bertie.”
Go deeper: More on Axios.com
Illustration: Axios Visuals
You think the insane flow of politics in your newsfeed, on your TV and lighting up your iPhone will slow when the Trump Show ends?
Think again: Media companies are doubling down on even more politics, to generate even higher ratings and more clicks, as audiences seems to crave all politics, all the time. This is your life on politics.
Why it matters: It's unlikely news outlets will cut back — meaning that the barrage of political content being created and absorbed during the Trump presidency will likely outlive this administration.
By the numbers:
Between the lines: The president's ability to attach himself to so many broad topics online, (mostly by tweeting so much), has pushed many apolitical topics, from sports and finance, to become political.
Even children's books have fallen to the political drama in the Trump era.
The bottom line: We are living in an era of unprecedented political drama. And data shows that Americans are craving more of it.
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios
Google permanently shut down the consumer version of Google+ yesterday after The Wall Street Journal reported that Google exposed the data of roughly 500,000 Google+ users this past spring, but didn't disclose the issue.
Why it matters: Google is taking heat for not going public with the problem immediately. But this incident may be the last time a major tech company can get away with hiding something like this for months, due to sweeping privacy laws that the EU began enforcing in May. (Facebook has already been hit.)
Between the lines: There's so much attention being paid to how these tech giants will continue to protect user data as they add more data-based products that it's beginning to color the reception of their business launches.
The bottom line: Big Tech fears that rushed regulation could stifle innovation and hurt their businesses. From this perspective, they need to be transparent about how their businesses work, so that regulators understand the nuances that come with over-correcting problems.
Go deeper: More details on the regulatory mess
Facebook will capture nearly one-quarter (24.5%) of all video ad spending in the U.S. this year at $6.81 billion, according to a new eMarketer forecast, which includes Instagram.
Why it matters: According to the forecast, Facebook controls nearly 87% of US social network video ad spending. "We expect that dominance to continue over the forecast period, with double-digit growth through 2020," says eMarketer.
"The Hustle," a daily business newsletter designed for entrepreneurs, has 1 million subscribers. The company says it has an open rate just shy of 50%, which is unusual and much higher than industry standards of roughly 20%.
Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images
Former White House communications director Hope Hicks will join New Fox as the company's EVP and chief communications officer.
Staff swap: Earlier this year, former Fox News chief Bill Shine, who was ousted for his handling of sexual misconduct scandals, was named White House Communication Director, following Hick's departure.
Why it matters: Both moves show the close relationship between the Murdochs and the Trump White House.
Between the lines: Hicks, while a very savvy 29-year-old White House vet, is not very experienced in the complex world of global broadcasting. But she’s an important asset to New Fox, which will inevitably face political and regulatory battles in its efforts to expand its new network.
FWIW: Disney also announced its leadership team for its newly-combined network with Fox. Many of its leadership executives are coming over from Fox.
Dotdash, the rebranded version of About.com — a website that was sold to IAC from The New York Times in 2012 — has spent $45 million to overhaul the decades-old content on its sites, sources tell Axios. It expects to bring in over $100 million in revenue in 2018 and to be profitable this year.
Why it matters: About.com, like many early internet giants, failed to innovate for mobile and hit a traffic and revenue plateau.
So Dotdash is dropping lots of cash to reimagine its old content for ways it could work within in its six vertical brands: Verywell, The Balance, Lifewire, Investopedia, The Spruce and TripSavvy.
The bigger picture: Dotdash, like National Geographic and The New York Times, has the benefit of an enormous amount of intellectual property, but it needed to figure out what to do with it in order to make it have value today.
New York Magazine is launching its new standalone thought leadership vertical called Intelligencer this Wednesday. It will live in a daily-updated, ephemeral feature on the NYMag homepage.