“Many of Apple’s employees moved into a glistening new $5 billion glass headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., this year. A mile west, at Apple’s old campus on 1 Infinite Loop, a project antithetical to Silicon Valley’s ethos is now underway,” Jack Nicas reports for The New York Times. “In a quiet corner of the third floor, Apple is building a newsroom of sorts. About a dozen former journalists have filled a few nondescript offices to do what many other tech companies have for years left to software: selecting the news that tens of millions of people will read.”
“One morning in late August, Apple News’ editor in chief, Lauren Kern, huddled with a deputy to discuss the five stories to feature atop the company’s three-year-old news app, which comes preinstalled on every iPhone in the United States, Britain and Australia,” Nicas reports. “They largely chose from a list of contenders compiled that morning by three editors in New York who pored over the home pages and mobile alerts of national news sites, as well as dozens of pitches from publications.”
“Apple has waded into the messy world of news with a service that is read regularly by roughly 90 million people,” Nicas reports. “But while Google, Facebook and Twitter have come under intense scrutiny for their disproportionate — and sometimes harmful — influence over the spread of information, Apple has so far avoided controversy. One big reason is that while its Silicon Valley peers rely on machines and algorithms to pick headlines, Apple uses humans like Ms. Kern.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Regardless of your interests, politics, etc., human curation of things like Apple News should be a concern.
If you’re not concerned, simply flip it the other way and imagine that 91% of contributions by Apple employees have gone to Republicans vs. 9% to Democrats and see if you’d then be concerned about human curation of products like Apple News.
Once again, do not solely trust Apple News or Google News or ABC News or Sky News or CNN or Fox News or The BBC or, for God’s sake, Facebook.
Do not trust any single gatekeeper.
The best way to consume so-called “news” is to cast a wide net. There is no such thing as a truly impartial journalist or algorithm.
As always, readers of “news” need to consider the sources and interpret what they are being told accordingly. The more disparate sources you can find, the better. And we don’t mean different newspaper, network, website brands that are all owned by the same conglomerate. Determining the actual ownership of your “news” sources is an investment that requires a bit of time, but it is very enlightening. — MacDailyNews Take, June 17, 2015
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Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey: I ‘fully admit’ our bias is ‘more left-leaning’ – August 20, 2018
Facebook and Apple disagree on how to curb ‘fake news’ for U.S. Midterms – July 3, 2018
Apple News’ plan for the 2018 midterms: Be the opposite of Facebook – June 26, 2018
Apple shoots for the high ground in ‘fake news’ debate – June 26, 2018
Apple News launches 2018 Midterm Elections section – June 25, 2018
Editorial bias: Apple News’s human editors prefer a few major newsrooms, study shows – June 6, 2018
Apple, J.P. Morgan under fire for donations to notorious Southern Poverty Law Center – August 28, 2017
New York magazine editor Lauren Kern named first Editor-in-Chief of Apple News – May 25, 2017
Apple refuses to aid 2016 GOP presidential convention over Trump comments – June 18, 2016
Who’s going to ‘curate’ Apple News? – August 13, 2015
The Apple News app is doomed – July 30, 2015
The future’s not looking too bright for Apple News – July 30, 2015
Apple hiring team of journalists for News app; a ‘jaw-dropping’ development says publisher – June 15, 2015
Apple News is fast, responsive, enjoyable, and it might become your only news app – July 15, 2015
Apple News shows that Apple wants to bolster and profit from ads, not eliminate them – July 10, 2015
Apple News to have human curation – and that raises issues – June 15, 2015
Apple employees donate $15 to Obama for every $1 to Romney – July 27, 2012
Apple, other tech firm employees’ contributions favor Democrats over Republicans, Obama over Clinton – April 14, 2008