Newspapers to Zuckerberg: Get 'Real'

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg continues to get advice from inside and outside the Beltway as he prepares to testify on Capitol Hill this week in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica data sharing flap.

The News Media Alliance, which represents newspapers across the country, summed its message up in three words: "Support Real News, a message it is sending in an ad it has produced welcoming the Facebook founder to D.C.

"As a major source for news, Facebook has an obligation not only to be transparent about their data-sharing and usage practices [the subject of a pair of hearings at which Zuckerberg is scheduled to testify] "but they have a duty to ensure their users have access to high-quality, real news. Facebook benefits greatly from having this quality news content on their platforms, which they use to attract digital ad dollars. It is time they acknowledge this and respond by prioritizing quality news produced by real, professional journalists in their algorithms and in the News Feed."

Related: Powell Says Facebook Troubles Expose Myth of Openness

NMA launched a "Real News" campaign to try to get social media sites to prioritize curated journalism over the echo-chamber of 'fake news.'

"[W]e have argued that Facebook should give priority to news from trusted sources," NMA said back in January in response to this post from Zuckerberg. This would be positive for consumers, as well as help to address “fake news” issues.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.