Emily Bell: Facebook is being turned into something it doesn’t want to be, ‘the underpinning framework of a free press’

“Facebook is finding itself under almost constant pressure to be more transparent, despite the fact that by the standards of some legacy media it is the model of openness,” Emily Bell writes. “Facebook is being taken somewhere it never wanted to go — into being the underpinning framework of a free press. The weakened news institutions that have seen advertising revenue drain into more efficient systems are now relying more heavily on Facebook to provide costly parts of the publishing business such as advertising sales and new publishing tools. Newsrooms reconfigure around what Facebook says it wants, even if this turns out to be a fruitless pursuit.”

+ George Brock on how Facebook should think about news: Facebook should ignore the debate about whether it’s a “media company,” accept that it does have responsibilities, and shouldn’t be afraid to put its ideas out there (George Brock)

+ “All media companies — legacy and digital — need to radically diversify digital traffic sources. It is the fault of media companies — not Facebook — that we got hooked on this distribution channel,” Earl J. Wilkinson argues (INMA) and Axel Springer’s CEO Mathias Döpfner warns that if traditional media organizations don’t come to an agreement with Facebook and Google, they won’t survive(Financial Times); How Slate is trying to wean itself off Facebook traffic: It identified a set of metrics that represented loyalty and set a goal of increasing those metrics by 20 percent this year (Digiday)