A common enemy for hacks and flaks to unite against

Tomorrow's Business

Peace can break out. It’s finally clear that we have a common enemy (though what took us so long doesn’t say much for our collective intelligence).

For years newspapers tried to embrace Facebook, would cheer when we hit a landmark of, say, 1 million “likes”. No one really knew why this was good. Other than that everyone said it was, imagined it would lead to income, one day, somehow.

The Times has been rightly campaigning against Facebook and other tech giants for some time.

It isn’t just that Facebook kills proper journalism, it also makes proper PR work impossible.

The strike against newspapers is that they are gatekeepers; that a cabal of establishment types get to decide what is newsworthy and what is not.

If that used to be true, the existence of the internet means it no longer is. But there’s good internet and bad internet.

It would be nice if the flak trade collectively recognised that getting a “like” on a Facebook page is nothing like as valuable as fair coverage in an actual publication, web based or not.

It doesn’t seem to. Too much of it seems to think that Facebook is a good way of getting around pesky hacks.

Such fantasies did us no good whatsoever. In the end, they won’t help you either.



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