Content Aware media news: September 08, 2022

Published: 09 September 2022

Yahoo buys The Factual news rating engine

Yahoo facts, AI art, and Semafor's aims - all in this week's Content Aware media news highlights.

Yahoo goes after the facts
Yahoo is trying to boost the trustworthiness of news to readers by buying 'fact engine' The Factual, an AI system which analyses written news and passes it through four specific AI tests. Interestingly, it assumes all content has a bias of some kind, which certainly reflects a realistic understanding of the world. We've signed up for a trial of The Factual and will report back.

Unhelpfully undramatic - so far
Perhaps to everyone's relief, Google's Helpful Content Update has caused few of the the ripples in search rankings that were feared by some, and the SEO world in fact seems a little nonplussed. It's almost like if a major phone company promised something ground-breaking and all-new, and the only major change seemed to be the colour.

Corbidge comments... on robot artists
If AI applications can now make the story and the image, what room is left for human inspiration? Or are they merely tools which put creative superpowers in the hands of those who otherwise couldn't summon the talent to draw a bad cat? Our man Corbidge says what his AI doppelganger wouldn't dare.

Semafor flags its ambitions
News start-up Semafor, hoping to join the likes of The Athletic and Axios in becoming an object of desire for bigger fish with billions to spend, has been laying out its goals and objectives this week, prior to a mooted October launch.

"Tweaks" due for Online Safety Bill
New UK PM Liz Truss is set to reassess draft legislation designed to make the internet safer in response to concerns about regulatory over-reach and restrictions on free speech. "There may be some tweaks required," she said.

Extending a hand
UK publishing giant Reach are considering expansion into the US market, spearheaded by the major pair of well-known UK titles which already do best for them in America - The Mirror and The Express. The unique pitch and blend of content carried on a UK tabloid website has few natural equivalents in the US, and the titles could blaze their own trail - though it's not easy, as we've pointed out.

Save American journalism
The Journalism Competition and Preservation Act is in play in the US Congress, which aims "To provide a temporary safe harbor for publishers of online content to collectively negotiate with dominant online platforms regarding the terms on which content may be distributed," - in essence the grounds upon which publishers will negotiate with Big Tech for payments for content. Here's a heartfelt plea for government intervention that illustrates the commonalities between the US local news situation and that of other nations.

PPA extends entry window
The UK PPA has extended the entry window for independent publishers to take part in its Independent Publisher Awards bash. Still not entered? You have another week until this Friday September 16th to get your entry lodged!

Just one Hitch
A wonderful thread about how a routine "What the papers say" slot for a lowly night news editor turned into an adversarial intellectual battle with one of Britain's most forensic thinkers.

An archive or lending library?
A long-running suit between four major book publishers and the Internet Archive rumbles on in US courts. The IA lays out its position here.

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