On Monday, during their Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple’s VP of Product Marketing, Susan Prescott, shocked the world by announcing that Apple would be selecting the top news stories that appear in their Apple News product.
In other words, they’re going to behave remarkably similar to every other news organization with real editors and journalists. This is not one of Apple’s more groundbreaking innovations. However, many treated it as such.
A Google search using the terms “apple news selecting stories susan prescott” returns several conservative news sites reporting the inherent bias built in to this model. They go further to reveal that Apple News hired Lauren Kern, who was Executive Editor of the left-leaning New York Magazine, to lead the news side of the organization.
With so many left-leaning news organizations occupying the list of top US news sources (as supported by a myriad of polls and studies), I’m amazed that any conservatives would consider this news.
Meanwhile, the Guardian (of the UK), which is notably also curated by humans, saw a different ethical concern: What will happen when Apple, itself, makes the news? For example, will the stories about their product, child labor, or surveillance issues be buried?
To me, this isn’t really news. But it does highlight what I consider a strength of British media. They don’t hide their biases. Unlike US journalists, who still claim to be unbiased, or fair and balanced, British news sources don’t hide behind their biases.
In fact, they take their biases as an enormous challenge and responsibility. Because they have a bias, they go to greater lengths in their investigations and reporting to produce more information that will support the gist of their stories.
Unlike US media, which generally tries to boil complex issues down to 2 minute stories, UK media is not afraid to spend a lot of time exploring the news so the populace gets an in depth look.
The competition between viewpoints also means their stories have to be stronger to stand up to the scrutiny of competing media with a different perspective.
Of course, this only works when the public thinks it’s important to be informed and do their own research.
So, Apple News essentially decided on a model that is centuries old. Nothing to see here… Please move on.