Comcast’s Bid for 21st Century Fox, Google’s Support for Publishers, Twitter’s Personalized News Updates,  Decline in Social Media News Consumption, TFP’s Infographic Pick

Welcome to Technology for Publishing’s roundup of news, stories of interest, and tips for media industry pros! This week, we’re sharing posts on Comcast’s $65 billion offer for 21st Century Fox, what Google is doing to build a better relationship with publishers, Twitter’s plan to personalize news updates, a new study on the decline of news consumption on social platforms, and more.

  • Fox Studios imageComcast set up a “showdown” with Disney on Wednesday with an all-cash $65 billion bid for the majority of 21st Century Fox—just a day after the AT&T and Time Warner merger was approved by a federal judge, The New York Times reported. It says the move highlights “an industry under threat from Silicon Valley,” as big tech companies buy up media companies to extend their reach with audiences, advertisers, and creative talent. 21st Century Fox’s board passed on an earlier Comcast offer thinking the government would shoot down a deal. But with the AT&T-Time Warner approval and the higher bid, sentiments could change this time around, the report says.
  • On the topic of big tech companies, Digiday says Google is pulling out all the stops for publishers experiencing Facebook “fatigue.” It reports the search giant is looking to convince publishers that a healthy relationship is a win-win and has ramped up its support for publishers and journalists with efforts such as Accelerated Mobile Pages, the Google News Lab, and the Digital News Initiatives, among others. “The best way for us to build positive relations is do whatever we can to drive that industry to ongoing success,” says Google news VP Richard Gingras. “And given Google’s interest in the open web, that’s the only way we achieve that and have better relationships with the publishers. In that order.”
  • While Facebook has backed out of the news business, Twitter is upping its game with an overhaul of how it delivers breaking news to users. As a Fast Company article explains, it will use human and algorithmic curation to package tweets, video, and other components of breaking news geared to the specific interests of individual app users, making sure readers see the elements they’re likely to care about most. Among other things, the push toward greater personalization is intended to counter users’ tendency to opt out of notifications because updates aren’t always about topics readers are interested in, according to The Next Web.
  • Overall, people are getting less of their news through social networks, according to the 2018 Digital News Report by Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. It found while news consumption via social was up sharply over the past seven years, that trend “has stopped or gone in the reverse” in 2018—partly due to changes in Facebook use in general and more specifically a drop in use by younger people (see our last “This Week in Publishing” post). A Nieman Lab article cites some other findings: Use of messaging apps to share and discuss news is up, the “Trump bump” is still a thing, and younger people are donating to news organizations more than their older counterparts.

On the Technology for Publishing Blog

New York Times photo: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

Visit our blog for highlights of interesting and noteworthy stories from the publishing world every Friday, and sign up for TFP’s This Week in Publishing newsletter. Think we missed something great? Let us know! Leave a comment below or drop us a note.

Posted by: Monica Sambataro

Monica Sambataro is a contributing editor and copyeditor for Technology for Publishing. Her publishing background includes work for leading technology- and business-related magazines and websites.