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October 28, 2014
Computers the New Editors – Oh Dear!
 
The New York Times – bless it for its coverage its own passing era – reports on how Facebook engineers and algorithms are becoming the overseers of what we once called news. Now, instead of events of some shared local or cosmic importance, “news” is what Facebook users may be interested in seeing in their “news feeds.” It looks to be an increasingly random way of gauging what’s going on “out there."

How PR people relate to this new setting for gaining the attention of viewers, listeners or, ultimately, customers or supporters is an immense new challenge. You already knew that, but this Times piece by Ravi Somaiya brings it all nicely together. 

(Photo: Facebook’s Menlo Park, Calif., campus. “A study says 30 percent of adults in America get news from the social network." Jim Wilson/The New York Times.)

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Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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