Posts tagged with "tech"

Vaughn Lowery, 360 MAGAZINE, LA

Top 5 Ways to Meet People Online

Meeting friends is an adventure filled with fun but always requires going out of one’s comfort zone especially if you just moved into a new area. Online is the best place to meet single women dating. Why? There are 3.9 billion users of the internet worldwide, while the United States accounted for about 293 million of this population. This is more than what a single neighborhood can accommodate. 

Meeting People Online

To meet people online, you may need to join some communities or forums. This is similar to offline life. In reality, people in search of friends or date will need to visit bars, clubs or any other socially engaging event. 

These online platforms such as Military Singles usually require all their users to fill out certain forms. They will extract information from the filled details to set up a profile which other users can always see to have some information about the new person they are meeting. 

Some of the popular and best ways to meet people online include; 

Social Media

There are more than 243 million users of social media networks in the United States. Some of these platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter are interesting places to find fantastic people. 

Facebook, for instance, is popular for connecting its users with friends and family. Anybody that has an account with Facebook will always be recommended to other people to become friends with through their algorithm that matches your account based on mutual friends you have with others. 

See someone you like? Send them a message and who knows, that might be the start of a long-term friendship. 

Dating Apps (Such as Military Singles)

Many people are already warming up to the idea of meeting people online through dating apps and sites. Ninety-one percent of Americans have reportedly tried online dating apps while almost 17 percent of them met their future partners through the apps. 

Dating apps and sites are not only meant for people in search of a date. In fact, a survey revealed 42 percent of Tinder users are married. Tinder is one of the most popular dating apps. 

Users of these apps may need not worry about the probability of people replying to their messages or showing interest in them. Grindr, a dating app for gays, for instance, has about 433.2 minutes of user engagement.

Thinking of the number of people you could meet? There are more than 8 million Tinder users. Plenty Of Fish (POF) also has more than 5 million users

Freelance Websites

The internet has made it easier for people to meet people to hire or outsource their jobs. 

People in search of new clients for their businesses may try freelance platforms to connect with new people. Popular freelance platforms like Upwork has more than 12 million registered users and 5 million users with approximately $1 billion worth of jobs posted yearly. 

These websites also offer escrow service that protects freelancers from not getting paid for their service. Some people have reportedly quit their day job to focus on freelancing full-time. However, this is not always advisable because it is not always as easy as it sounds. 

Team-Based Platforms

Anywhere in the world, meetings can be conducted with attendees located at different parts of the world through platforms like Skype and Hangout. Team communication has also been made easier all thanks to the internet. Team members can now communicate and share ideas irrespective of their locations by using platforms like Slack and Trello. 

These are great avenues of meeting people online. An employer using this kind of business model usually hire their employees from different parts of the world. Communicate with others, share ideas and you may be able to build your relationship beyond the platform. 

Schools using such a system most of the time always have lots of their students added to the group. This is an avenue for the student to build a relationship they may not be able to build while in class. 

Email

We receive different emails every day. Some annoying while others are important and informative. It is very possible to meet people through this medium. As a student intending to study in a particular school, to find out about the school admission criteria or assess your chances of getting admission there, search online for their email address and send them an email. 

Freelancers can also use the medium to solicit for work. Promotional emails from a company that might need their service is a lead. Send them the details of your service and await a response. 

Conclusion

Meeting people online is easier and more fun. However, it is advisable to be careful before agreeing to see anyone you meet online. When filling out the forms usually required by dating apps, users are advised to be sure of the apps’ validity to avoid leaking personal information to fraudsters. 

Aside from all of these, the internet has made it extremely easy to meet people online. 

Hackers Covet Your Identity; 5 Ways To Thwart Their Efforts

Each day people take a virtual trip through the internet to do their banking, make hotel reservations, shop for a new car, or engage in a myriad of other activities important to them.

It’s so routine that it’s easy to forget that you need to be just as careful about protecting yourself on those virtual journeys as you would on an actual one. “Hackers are creative about dreaming up new ideas for stealing your identity, so it’s important that you stay vigilant even if you already have taken action to guard yourself and your data,” says Chris Hoose, an IT consultant who works with small businesses.

Hoose says a few steps you can take to protect your identity include:

Use a password manager. One problem with passwords is that people often use simple ones that are easy to remember, but also easy to hack. A password manager  provides an encrypted database where you can store unique, long, complex passwords for each of your online accounts, and access them when you need them. “With a password manager, you can have better passwords that are harder to hack, and you don’t have to memorize them,” Hoose says.

Do your online activities with a VPN. Worried that your online browsing will lead identity thieves right back to you? One solution, Hoose says, is a virtual private network (VPN), which lends you a temporary IP address and hides your true IP address from every website or email you connect with. “It also prevents the sites you visit from learning your physical location,” he says. “You just need to remember to connect to it when you want to use it.” A VPN usually costs about $40 to $50 a year, he says.

Be wary on social media. Most people check in on social media routinely to catch up on family news, connect with college buddies, or perhaps to share photos of a new puppy. Unfortunately, cyber thieves lurk in the background. “They know that social media platforms are an excellent source for personal information and information about your contacts, which makes identity theft that much easier for them,” Hoose says. To stay safe on social media, he suggests you check to see if you have already been compromised; avoid password reuse; update your security settings regularly; and limit your connections because the more you have, the more potential for a fraudulent or compromised account to send you a malicious link.

Keep tabs on your credit report. One way to make sure no one has taken on debt in your name, and damaged your credit in the process, is to request a full credit report from any of the three major agencies: Equifax, TransUnion and Experian. You can get a free copy from any of them through the site. Also, it might be time to get off the mailing list for all those credit offers you receive that say you are pre-approved. “Those offers are a gold mine for identity thieves,” Hoose says. You can opt out of pre-approved credit offers by visiting.

Be sure to install anti-virus/malware software. Your first and best line of defense against identity theft on your computer remains anti-virus software and anti-malware software, Hoose says. When choosing one, he suggests making use of the trial period most companies offer. “That way you can try them out and decide which one works best for you,” he says.

“The more people try to foil identity thieves, the more sophisticated those thieves seem to get in their methods,” Hoose says. “But by being watchful and attentive, you can stay safe and enjoy your time online.”

About Chris Hoose

Chris Hoose  s the president of Choose Networks, an IT consulting firm for small businesses. Hoose started the company in 2001 to give large-scale solutions and support to businesses that can’t afford their own in-house IT department. He earned a Master of Information Systems Management from Friends University.

Preventing Public Data Leaks

Protecting an individual’s identity from cyber thieves can be a monumental task, especially when thieves can gather information about someone by just using public data sources.

That’s why Rohit Chadha, associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science in the College of Engineering at the University of Missouri, is working with researchers at the University of Illinois-Chicago and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign on a $1.2 million grant over 4 years from the National Science Foundation to study how to help prevent privacy leaks when there is a large amount of data that can be gathered publicly.

“Differential privacy is a technique invented about fifteen years ago that ensures when someone asks questions of online databases — census data, consumer trends or aggregated information such as salary range or average number of children of people living in a certain area — the privacy of a person’s digital records remains intact,” Chadha said. “You still want to be able to grant access to these inquires because the data is important for businesses, researchers and governments. On the other hand, you also want to be able to protect an individual’s privacy.”

By asking enough valid questions of different databases, cyber thieves can build enough of a person’s profile that they can use that information in nefarious ways. Chadha said researchers have already begun testing different methods to thwart cyber thieves trying to attempt this.

“The research community has been aware of the possibility of these attacks for some time,” Chadha said.

Chadha, along with Aravinda Sistla of University of Illinois-Chicago and Mahesh Viswanathan of University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and their teams will use the grant to verify the quality of the current methods being used and work to improve those methods as needed.

Kendall Jackson, White Wine Emoji, 360 MAGAZINE

WHITE WINE EMOJI

THE WHITE WINE EMOJI WILL NEED TO CONTINUE TO AGE

Kendall-Jackson, the iconic leader of California Chardonnay, and the dozens of other supporting wine partners will have to wait a bit longer to toast its newest wine release, a White Wine Emoji

Kendall-Jackson’s 19-page proposal for a White Wine Emoji, now in its third draft, was up for review by the Unicode Technical Committee (UTC) at their July meeting held on the Microsoft Campus in Redmond, WA.  However, the White Wine Emoji will need more time to age – official meeting notes released from the UTC states that they will, “Continue to consider ‘white wine’ emoji for future addition,” and has a UTC Action Item, 160-A43, to do precisely that.

“The debate actually centers around color, not wine,” says Maggie Curry, Director of Marketing for Kendall-Jackson.  “Since a red wine emoji already exists, the white wine emoji is seen as a color variation and adding color variation to an emoji is proving more complex because the Unicode standard is not fully defined.”  With the UTC tasked at protecting the global keyboard, the addition of white wine has to be carefully considered, as it might open the door to many emoji color variations (Rosé wine for example, shades of beer, or even different color animals).

Kendall-Jackson vows to continue leading their efforts and global movement, and are hopeful to see progress on the proposal soon.  “The white wine emoji effort has garnered enthusiasm from around the globe, and we continue to refine our proposal to support the white wine emoji,” says Maggie Curry, Director of Marketing for Kendall-Jackson. 

Kendall-Jackson is currently updating their proposal for a fourth time, adding additional research that proves white wine as a necessary addition beyond red wine for emoji communication based on global use, economy, culture and industry.   

“For example, white wine is paramount in regions such as Alto Adige with Pinot Grigio, Mosel with Riesling, and Sancerre with Sauvignon Blanc, and there is currently no way to communicate by symbol when it comes to wine in those geographies,” says Curry “What started as a fun idea has now turned into a complex effort for Kendall-Jackson, the wine community, and wine fans around the globe.”

Kendall-Jackson and their global partners encourage the wine community to continue to call for the white wine emoji by using #WhiteWineEmoji on their social channels, which is easily tracked by Unicode to show global want and need.

As Pliny the Elder once said, “In vino veritas” (in wine there is truth), and Kendall-Jackson continues to push for wine symbol color variation to convey truth in the modern wine communication zeitgeist.  

About Kendall-Jackson Winery
Kendall-Jackson is one of America’s most beloved family-owned and operated wineries. Founded by entrepreneur and visionary Jess Jackson in 1982, and now led by his wife Barbara Banke and the second and third generation of the Jackson Family, Kendall-Jackson is based in Sonoma County and offers a range of acclaimed wines grown on estate vineyards along the coastal ridges of California. A leader in sustainable vineyard and winery practices, including water and energy conservation and natural pest control, 100 percent of Kendall-Jackson’s vineyards in California are third party certified by SIP (Sustainable in Practice) and CCSW (Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing). Kendall-Jackson was recently named 2017 Winery of the Year by Wine Enthusiast Magazine, recognized as a benchmark in the wine industry. The winery’s seminal wine, the Vintner’s Reserve Chardonnay, has been America’s favorite Chardonnay for the past 25 years, and the 2015 vintage was ranked No. 28 on Wine Spectator’s Top 100 list in 2017. Learn more online at www.kj.com, and follow Kendall-Jackson on FacebookTwitter or Instagram.

G-SHOCK, 360 MAGAZINE

G-Shock Announces New Models

CASIO G-SHOCK RELEASES ICONIC G-SHOCK TIMEPIECES WITH STAINLESS STEEL BEZEL

Casio G-SHOCK announces the release to their G-Shock 5600 series, the watch that has been revolutionizing personal timekeeping since 1983, with GM-5600 and GM-5600B models. Arriving with an iconic square-faced digital display design with stainless steel bezel achieved through cutting-edge technology, the GM-5600 and GM-5600B features a fine metal texture that represents a legacy of timeless toughness and durability. The watch comes packed with an EL backlight, flash alert and multi-alarm, perfect to keep the wearer on “one’s toes” for any occasion. The GM-5600 and GM-5600B features several of G-SHOCK’s most premium features, including Triple G Resist Technology and Two-Way Time Sync and offer the comfortable fit of a lightweight watch, thanks to the use of resin, which is used for the case and band, giving the watch a look of elegance .

The watch also boasts G-SHOCK technology such as:

  *   200M water resistance and shock resistance

  *   Shock Resistant

  *   EL Blacklight

  *   Flash Alert

  *   1/100” Sec. Stopwatch (24Hr)

  *   Digital Display

  *   Multi Alarm

  *   Countdown Timer (24H4)

  *   12/24 Hr Formats

The GM-5600 and GM-5600B will retail for $200 and be available for purchase beginning in August at select high-end jewelers and online.

K-POP CONTENT MEDIA APP

theQoos Inc. has launched a data-based media service app platform that targets English reading K-Pop fans. Through aggregating K-Pop content, theQoos attempts to lock-in users and create communities among K-Pop fans. theQoos Inc. was established in February 2019 with a Seoul office established in April. The venture founders are composed of experienced members from Kakao, Samsung Electronics and, YG Entertainment USA. An investment by SK Group, South Korea’s third largest conglomerate, was completed earlier this year.

2019 has been yet another record-breaking year for K-Pop with BLACKPINK signing to Interscope/Universal Records and being the first K-Pop girl-group to perform at Coachella. BTS became the first Korean act to perform on “Saturday Night Live” and followed up with performances on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” “Good Morning America” and “The Voice.” A new study by Hyundai Research Institute found that the boy band is worth more than $3.6 billion yearly to Korea’s economy. Both acts contributed to the “Hallyu” (or Korean wave) fanbase which is estimated to grow to 100 million fans by 2020 and leading the way for other acts globally such as Monsta X and NCT. In the first half of 2019, there were over 50 concerts taking place in North America and as STYLE put it, “K-Pop is now more popular and profitable in the West than ever before.”

With the increased interest in K-Pop globally, theQoos set out to build a roadway for content by gathering as many select English-written sources of K-Pop into one feed. The idea is that fans who have an enthusiastic passion for K-Pop are called “theQoos” and want to consume all of the content that exists out there without having to search or open multiple applications. These content sources include K-Pop news sites, reputable global news sites that cover K-Pop, artists’ official social media, and YouTube but also fan-made content such as reaction videos, and fancam footage. Since many K-Pop fans usually find their news through K-Pop sites, theQoos also gathers in-depth coverage from respected major media outlets so users can see content they might not normally come across. theQoos also gathers album and concert reviews from various lesser known sites/blogs that deserve to be read as well as fan-made content that are meant to entertain and be enjoyed.

In 2018 BTS was the most tweeted about account worldwide and a tweet featuring BTS member J-Hope participating in the #InMyFeelingsChallenge was the Most Liked Tweet worldwide last year with 1.8 million Likes. Since K-Pop thrives on Twitter, we also gather many official and non-official Twitter accounts into our feed.

Users are able to “Save,” “Like,” and “Share” content but also organize the feed based on their favorite artist(s). Artist pages also include discography and links to music videos. theQoos promises this release to be their minimal viable product and has already planned for many features including in-app commenting and a community section so that Users can have “real interaction”.

MISSION STATEMENT:

theQoos is dedicated to encouraging the growth and distribution of, English language, K-Pop content, and to provide this content to fans free of charge. We want to build a bridge between K-Pop fans across the world and the content that exists in the universe. As the fan community continues to grow, we want to create a platform for them to engage with each other in a genuine way. By promoting users to enter their real information into their profiles we believe that real commentary and real interaction will create a positive space for K-Pop.

By learning who our users are and what their interests are in, we will be able to understand this community like no one has before us. Imagine a world in which every English reading K-Pop fan can freely view and share K-Pop content & be part of a community – which they can take with them, everywhere. theQoos: We are your gateway to the K-Pop Universe.

US Businesses Allowing Remote Working

The rise of cloud computing and teleconferencing represent both the biggest opportunity for growth as well as the most significant organizational challenge to companies around the world, according to new research from Condeco’s new research paper, The Modern Workplace 2019: People, places & technology, involving 750 corporate leaders. The full report can be downloaded here. Among the countries in the survey, remote working is particularly prevalent in Australia (45 per cent) with the US tied for being the country with the second most amount of companies allowing remote work (43 percent) and least widespread is Germany (35 per cent). However, US businesses were least likely to offer flextime (49 percent), while those in Singapore were most likely (66 percent). In addition, 43 percent of US business forecast that they will allow more remote working in the next year while only 9 percent have indicated that they will offer less remote working, a clear indicator that remote working is a major trend in America. 54 percent of US companies have said that they offer remote working to increase employee retention, which showcases employees increasing demands to work from home.

While recognizing digital transformation as crucial to their future success, 60 percent of those who participated express concern over the speed with which new technologies are reshaping their businesses. They are increasingly preoccupied with issues related to cloud computing, the internet of things, and big data.These technology challenges are contributing significantly to the changing nature of the corporate environment, the report finds. Cloud computing in particular has made it possible for increasing numbers of employees to work remotely and flexibly meaning that the central company workspace is rapidly becoming an administrative hub, rather than a traditional central focus where everyone gathers during set hours. The demands of regulation and compliance are also adding to the burden felt by businesses as they face the future. Condeco’s report is based on an in-depth survey of business leaders in six countries, including the United States, backed by qualitative interviews. Respondents overall say the biggest challenges facing their organizations in the next 12 months are digital transformation (37 percent) and the adoption of new technology (35 percent).

Across all countries surveyed, access to talent supply (26 per cent) and regulation and compliance (24 per cent) are considered greater organizational challenges than business uncertainty (22 per cent). Welcome to the flexible working revolution. Almost half of global businesses surveyed (41 percent) say they already offer some degree of remote working, while three-fifths (60 percent) provide flextime opportunities, allowing employees to choose when to start and end their workday. “The research clearly shows that businesses are in the process of transforming their workplaces digitally, which enables them to transform the way that they are used physically,” said Paul Statham, CEO of Condeco.”Today’s technology allows for space to be used more flexibly and for employees to work remotely. This benefits businesses by maximizing office space, reducing costs and by keeping employees engaged and productive.”

The end of meeting-room culture? When employees do go into the office, it is most often for meetings with colleagues and customers. Yet the researchers discovered that finding, booking and using meeting rooms is a consistent point of organizational tension, even as more people are working remotely. Fewer than a quarter of those surveyed (23 percent) say that their employees have access to meeting rooms whenever they need them; however, the US leads the world with 31 percent, compared to just 9 percent in Singapore. Only a third of respondents (31 percent) currently use specialist meeting-room scheduling software to help make efficient use of their available space. Some of those surveyed believed that there was an opportunity to use artificial intelligence to book and use meeting rooms more effectively.

“AI can release individuals from routine, repetitive tasks at work and free them up for more value-adding and enriching activities. That’s why it is likely to play an important role in meeting room booking software,” said Peter Otto, Chief Product Officer at Condeco. Businesses are only just beginning to realize the extent to which the need for co-workers to meet in person is a thing of the past, as new conferencing systems enable teams to maintain real-time collaboration and conversation across vast distances and multiple time zones.“Ultimately new technology will enable businesses to allocate their resources and time more effectively,” said Otto.“There is also a role it can play in gathering data, but companies need to be aware of the ethical and privacy aspects of using it in this way and be prepared to be fully transparent in communicating what they are doing to their employees.”

US leaders prepare for the future While a fifth of business leaders worldwide (22 per cent) said that uncertainty was a concern for them, less than one fifth of American business leaders (16 percent) echoed this. The most-common concern for US respondents is technology adoption (45 percent) and talent supply (30 percent), suggesting that businesses are expecting these to be major issues over the next year. Only 11 percent of US business cited access to capital as their top organizational concern.

FindMyFans

FindMyFans wants to solve the problem of revenue generation for artists and bands by utilizing data already being generated from their social media and streaming profiles. This data, when combined and visualized in the app, will give users an accurate reflection of their fan activity and listener locations. This will empower them to plan better touring routes and create targeted marketing plans to maximize their profits. 

The app’s goal is to be a resource for everyone in the music industry from professionals to DIY artists. According to founder & CEO, Ravi Ramkeesoon, “Location intelligence is the most effective of the metrics from social and streaming from an artist and bands as it serves as markers for where they already have traction.  Many times, these markets are unknown or are overlooked butcan represent additional revenue opportunities.  They’re an artist’s pot of gold. FindMyFans will be able to identify these new opportunities.”The goal of the campaign is to raise $170,000USD to finalize the app’s development, test, and launch in the App Store and Google Play.

Key Features Include:

* Top Countries Played

* Top 50 Global Streaming Songs

* Social & Streaming Trends

* Top Songs by Genre

The timing for this type of app is perfect as streaming has continued to grow and social media is widely and regularly used all over the world. According to Nielsen’s 2018 Year-End Music Report, American music streaming volume continued to rise, with the total number of on-demand audio song streams reaching 611 billion in 2018, a sizable 49% increase over the same time period in 2017. Overall on-demand music streaming volume, including video, surpassed 900 billion streams, an increase of 43% over the same period last year. Additionally, 90% of millennials globally are active on social media (Emarketer, 2019). This means the data that artists and bands generate from their social and streaming accounts generate valuable and growing information into their brand awareness. 

Understanding where these listeners are coming from is vital to their long-term success. Momentum has been growing for FindMyFans as they are in the Project Music Portfolio Portfolioa program at Project Music in Nashville, TN.Additionally, they have entered into a strategic partnership with a leading US equipment instrument retailer Guitar Center. “A strategic partnership between FindMyFans and the Artist Relations Division of Guitar Center makes sense because of our shared vision. Guitar Center has been the leading source for music creators, empowering them with instruments. FindMyFans vision is to empower music creators with reliable data that will enable them to find their fan bases and ultimately, expand their brand presence and lead to more revenue opportunities.” Said, Judd Goldrich, Artist Relations Manager, East Coast, Guitar Center. The campaign launches on August 8th and runs until September 14th. Prospective donors can visit the Indiegogo page here.

Vaughn Lowery, 360 MAGAZINE, bronx

Avoiding Cyber Threats on Facebook: A Guide

Facebook’s reputation has certainly taken a hit in recent years, especially on its main account, Facebook. Scandal after scandal have rocked this company, which is why it is more important than ever before that you, whether you are a business or an individual, work hard to dismantle your account so that your online data cannot be used against you.

Threats on Facebook

There are many threats to Facebook. Knowing these threats is key to avoiding them and to reduce the risk of your more personal accounts, like your bank account or even information that can lead to identity theft are not accessible to thieves online.

Use of Personal Information Against You

Public profiles are not Facebook’s fault. It is up to you to share information publicly or privately. By sharing information publicly, however, you run the risk of breaches. Most notably, a hacker could determine the answers to security questions on your accounts, and then work their way into more important accounts through the back door.

In the past, Facebook was a massive company that seemed completely impenetrable. Today it has been fraught with scandals and become a breeding ground for misinformation. In 2018, over 50 million users’ data was hacked into. The year before the Cambridge Analytica scandal proved that firms could pay their way to access private information and even skew election results. According to the NYTimes, this scandal has possibly even led to the deaths of individuals around the world.

Harassment Online

Cyberstalking and harassment are both very serious issues, especially for those who have public information that makes it easy for the cyberstalker to find you in the real world.

How to Avoid These Cyber Threats

To avoid these cyber threats, you will want to:

Set Up Two-Factor Authentication

Two-factor authentication, though not perfect, can stop a general hack.

Create a Unique Password for Facebook

Create unique passwords for every account so that breaches which involve your password being stolen are isolated.

Delete All Unnecessary Information

Go through your profile and old posts and delete all unnecessary information that can be used to correctly enter security questions.

Audit Your Friends List

If you aren’t actually friends with them, unfriend them. You don’t need strangers accessing your personal information.

Use Facebook’s Privacy Settings

Limit who can see your posts and sensitive information. Only your name and profile photo should be visible to a non-friend.

Remove Listing From Google

There is a setting which will remove your profile from Google and other search engines. Use this feature.

If you get harassment via messages, report, block, and do not engage.

Use Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR)

What is EDR? EDR, or Endpoint Detection and Response, is a way to analyze your endpoints. Perfect for companies, this can help ensure that a Facebook login on your server doesn’t inadvertently let hackers into your Cloud account where they can then access your data. With EDR, you will be able to monitor your endpoints and respond to attacks before they become an issue.

You should never use Facebook, as an individual or as a company, without considering the risk and how you can mitigate it. By taking these steps, you can minimize and avoid cyber threats altogether. Continue to audit your accounts and use new security features to reduce the risk associated with putting your data online.

Tech’s Impact on Journalism

In the epicenter of big tech, Representative Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11) joined Audrey Cooper, the Executive Editor of the San Francisco Chronicle, CEO of CalMatters and the former Executive Editor of Bay Area News Group Neil Chase, and Save Journalism Project co-founders Laura Bassett, a laid-off HuffPost reporter, and John Stanton, laid-off former D.C. bureau chief of BuzzFeed, to shine a light on the plight of local news and a key culprit: big tech.   

n the first quarter of 2019, the media has shed more than 2,400 jobs – including East Bay Express staffers – and, over the past 10 years, newsrooms have declined in size by 45%. The plight of the journalism industry has generated bipartisan congressional action, a rather unique occurrence in this polarized political climate. And while the journalism industry faces many challenges, the focus of Congress’ current action is to halt big tech’s negative impact on the economic sustainability of the free press. Wednesday’s speakers will address this unusual bipartisan action and the widespread consequences of the loss of local news.

According to Representative Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11), “Not that long ago, the Bay Area was home to over 1,500 journalists, but now there are less than 300 serving roughly 7 million people. This problem is not unique to our community—it is happening in every corner of the country, and we need to act. During a time when fact and accountability are under constant attack, today’s conversation about ways to preserve and protect local news and high-quality journalism is critical to the health of our democracy.”

According to Neil Chase, CEO of CalMatters and the former Executive Editor of Bay Area News Group, “I’m glad we had such a deep, meaningful conversation about the challenges facing journalism today, right here in downtown San Francisco. If we can’t solve it here, we can’t hope to help the places across America that don’t have the technology and financial resources that are available in a place like this.”

According to Laura Bassett, laid-off HuffPost senior politics reporter and co-founder of the Save Journalism Project, “As our country grapples with natural disasters, political turmoil, violence, and everyday life, Americans rely on journalists and the news industry to explain and break through the chaos. But, for that process to survive, we need well-staffed newsrooms and a blossoming industry. Instead, big tech is decimating journalism. Facebook, Google, and big tech have consumed the digital landscape and continue to threaten local and national journalism. We need our elected officials to weigh in, to reign in big tech, and to save the journalism industry, before this goes any further.”

And, according to John Stanton, laid-off former D.C. bureau chief of BuzzFeed and co-founder of the Save Journalism Project, “The irony of all ironies, we live streamed today’s event on Facebook to ensure it reached the largest audience. The mere fact that we had to rely on the conglomerate proves our point: Facebook and Google have too much power. Together, they control the landscape, the audience, and the content. I saw this first hand at BuzzFeed, when Facebook, without notice, changed its algorithm, resulting in huge viewership and financial losses for the company. As more and more local and national news outlets feel the death grip of big tech, we need Congress to step in and save journalism.”

 

Journalism in America is facing an existential threat from the monopolistic control of tech giants like Google, Facebook, and Apple. Big tech’s dominance over the digital advertising market and their unrivaled capacity to monetize its platforms are having drastic effects on journalism as a whole.