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20 января, 15:43

Frontrunning: January 20

How Trump Aims to Broadly Reshape Policy (WSJ) Trump Calls for Unity at Opening Concert as Inaugural Festivities Begin (NYT) Trump Takes the Reins of a Deeply Divided Nation (BBG) Washington braces for anti-Trump protests, New Yorkers march (Reuters) After the Parties, a Protest for the Ages (WSJ) Voter Anxiety That Fueled Trump’s Victory Turns to Hope (WSJ) Pageantry, protests to mark the start of Trump's presidency (Reuters) For stock performance under Trump, don't look to prior transitions (Reuters) Bullion Bulls Have History on Their Side as Trump Takes Helm (BBG) Yellen Backs Gradual Rate Rises as Fed Not Behind the Curve (BBG) Doing Business With Putin (BBG) Floor Caving In on Europe Real Estate Stocks Bashed by Rates (BBG) Republican Governors Balk as Congress Races to End Obamacare (BBG) Telecommunications company Avaya files for bankruptcy (Reuters) Finland Prepares for ‘Manifold Warfare’ as Russia Feeds Paranoia (BBG) Samsung Blames Battery Size for Galaxy Note Fires (WSJ) There's an Unexplained $9 Billion Gap in India's Cash Supply (BBG) Turkey can no longer insist on Syria settlement without Assad: Turkish deputy PM (Reuters) Islamic State destroys famous monument in Syria's Palmyra: antiquities chief (Reuters) GE Meets Profit Estimates on Gains in Power, Aviation Units (BBG) P&G profit and sales beat Wall Street estimates (Reuters) U.K. Retail-Sales Slump Hints at Cracks in Britain’s Brexit Boom (BBG) U.S. Oil Producers Ramp Up Spending (WSJ) Robot Crop Pickers Limit Loss of U.S. Farm Workers to Trump Wall (BBG) Companies’ Job Pledges: Analyzing the Numbers (WSJ) Lloyd’s of London Seeks Europe Base as May Backs Hard Brexit (BBG)   Overnight Media Digest WSJ - Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, the drug lord who staged two spectacular escapes from maximum-security prisons in Mexico, has arrived in New York to face trial, U.S. officials said Thursday. http://on.wsj.com/2jeuWLl - A $1 billion financing deal with Chinese firms Shanghai Film Group Corp and Huahua Media promises Viacom Inc's struggling Paramount Pictures some much-needed funds and a foothold in the world's second-largest box-office market. http://on.wsj.com/2jeBNV7 - A Chinese consortium led by China Oceanwide Holdings Group Co reached a deal to buy International Data Group Inc, the data and marketing company that also runs venture-capital firm IDG Ventures. http://on.wsj.com/2jevNMa - China's flagship state-owned chip maker Tsinghua Unigroup said it plans to build a $30 billion memory-chip factory in Nanjing, its latest investment as China moves to diminish its dependence on U.S. chip manufacturers. http://on.wsj.com/2jeE7LL - U.S. regulators closed a probe of a fatal crash involving a Tesla Motors Inc car driving itself, concluding the Silicon Valley auto maker's semi-automated technology didn't contain a safety defect. http://on.wsj.com/2jeEpSQ - JPMorgan Chase & Co Chief Executive Jamie Dimon will receive $28 million in total compensation for 2016, up 3.7 percent - or $1 million - from 2015, according to a Thursday securities filing. http://on.wsj.com/2jezEsp - South Korea's Hyundai Merchant Marine Co Ltd said it will buy a fifth of the company that runs the biggest container terminal at Long Beach, Calif., the U.S.'s second-largest port. http://on.wsj.com/2jeCGNr - Uber Technologies Inc agreed Thursday to pay $20 million to resolve Federal Trade Commission allegations that it misled drivers about potential earnings and vehicle financing. http://on.wsj.com/2jev9Oy   FT * President-elect Donald Trump said on Thursday that National Football League team owner Woody Johnson was "going to St. James," indicating he would assume the plum diplomatic post of U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom. * Miner BHP Billiton Ltd,, its partner Vale SA and their jointly owned Samarco unit have agreed with Brazilian prosecutors on a June 30 deadline to settle billions of dollars in compensation claims stemming from an iron ore mine disaster in 2015. * Britain's biggest house builder Barratt said on Thursday its Chief Finance Officer Neil Cooper had left the firm by mutual agreement just over a year after he joined. * Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness, a key figure throughout five decades of conflict and peace in Northern Ireland, said on Thursday he was bowing out of politics and would not lead his nationalist party into elections in March.   NYT - Joaquín Guzmán Loera, the notorious drug lord known as El Chapo, was extradited to the United States on Thursday night. nyti.ms/2iQWtBH - American law enforcement and intelligence agencies are examining intercepted communications and financial transactions as part of a broad investigation into possible links between Russian officials and associates of President-elect Donald Trump, including his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort. nyti.ms/2juYk0Q - Donald Trump arrived in Washington the day before his inauguration as the nation's 45th president in a swirl of cinematic pageantry but facing serious questions about whether his chaotic transition has left critical parts of the government dangerously short-handed. nyti.ms/2iI6ZQt - President-elect Donald Trump on Thursday chose Woody Johnson, the owner of the New York Jets football franchise, as his ambassador to Britain. nyti.ms/2iQShBQ - Federal auto-safety regulators said their investigation of the Tesla Motor's car found no defects in the system that caused a fatal accident eight months back and said Tesla's Autopilot-enabled vehicles did not need to be recalled. nyti.ms/2juVA3J - The political standoff in Gambia intensified on Thursday as foreign troops crossed the border with orders to dislodge a repressive leader who has refused to step down after losing a presidential election last month. nyti.ms/2jFtyoh   Canada THE GLOBE AND MAIL ** The incoming Trump administration is ruling out an across-the-board border tax as it prepares a sweeping new trade agenda that includes renegotiating the North American free-trade agreement with Canada and Mexico. https://tgam.ca/2j11Gdg ** Ottawa will consider adopting national guidelines for prescription heroin and other unconventional therapies to treat severe opioid addiction, looking to guidelines being developed by doctors in British Columbia, where such treatments are already available on a small scale. https://tgam.ca/2j12jUs ** As an executive at Loblaw Companies Ltd, Sarah Davis helped steer the company through some of its toughest times. Now she is being rewarded with a promotion to president of Canada's largest grocer and drugstore retailer. https://tgam.ca/2j0Z67a NATIONAL POST ** Starwood Capital Group is paying $2.85 billion to buy Milestone Real Estate Investment Trust, a TSX-listed company that focuses solely on U.S. residential properties. In the process, Canadian investors are losing one of the TSX's most significant direct plays on the U.S. real estate market. http://bit.ly/2j12D5C ** Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd may be losing its legendary CEO to a competitor, but investors shrugged off the development Thursday, sending shares up as much as 4.2 per cent in morning trading. http://bit.ly/2j1b5BJ ** Alberta Premier Rachel Notley shuffled her cabinet Thursday to carve out a new Children's Services ministry, citing ongoing problems keeping kids safe in government care. http://bit.ly/2j0Xdrc   Britain The Times Ofgem warns Big Six firms against raising energy prices Ofgem has issued a warning shot to the Big Six suppliers against raising prices, saying there was no "obvious reason" for them to increase standard tariffs. http://bit.ly/2jEWEUK The Guardian Rolls-Royce lobbied ministers to weaken anti-bribery proposals Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc, which this week agreed to pay 671 million pounds in penalties after admitting it had engaged in corruption, lobbied ministers to weaken proposed curbs on bribery a decade ago. http://bit.ly/2k6183s Goldman Sachs stalls plan to move jobs to UK amid Brexit uncertainty Goldman Sachs Group Inc has suspended plans to move key operations from the United States to London because of the uncertainty created by the vote to leave the EU. The Wall Street firm - in the midst of building a new 350 million pound London headquarters - had been preparing to shift more of its global operations and IT activities from New York, but now appears to have embarked on a hiring freeze. http://bit.ly/2ju22HT The Telegraph Barratt's chief financial officer leaves the company after just 15 months Barratt Developments Plc's chief financial officer is to leave the business a week after the house builder reported a sharp drop in the number of homes it built in London last year. Neil Cooper joined Barratt just 14 months ago, in November 2015, but has now left by mutual consent. Chief Executive David Thomas will stand in for Cooper until a successor can be found. http://bit.ly/2iPWNRe Glaxo's pharmaceuticals boss walks away as new chief prepares to take the helm One of GlaxoSmithKline Plc's most senior directors is leaving the company as incoming boss Emma Walmsley moves to refresh her team. Abbas Hussain, who has run Glaxo's sprawling pharmaceuticals division since 2008, has agreed to leave the FTSE 100 drugs giant later this year. http://bit.ly/2jEXEYN Sky News Southern railways to suffer more strike action Passengers on the Southern railway network face more delays next week after drivers and guards in the RMT union decided to press ahead with further strikes. The RMT said its members would be taking action because it has been excluded from talks between ASLEF and the company. http://bit.ly/2iOM21r Metro Bank creates 500 jobs in branch expansion Metro Bank Plc has announced plans to create 500 new jobs as it continues to expand its interests beyond London and the South East. The loss-making challenger bank, which first hit high streets a little over six years ago as major lenders juggled the damaging fallout from the financial crisis, said the new roles included customer-facing and head office positions. http://bit.ly/2jDoq3H  

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11 января, 21:03

Philippines rejects Dora the Explorer underwater theme park

Environment minister says she will not allow US TV network Nickelodeon to build park on pristine Palawan islandThe Philippine environment minister has said the US children’s television network Nickelodeon will not be allowed to build an underwater theme park on one of the country’s most pristine islands.Nickelodeon’s parent firm announced on Monday it would build a themed attraction inspired by its cartoon characters such as Dora the Explorer and SpongeBob SquarePants as part of a 400-hectare (1,000-acre) development on Palawan, generating alarm from environmentalists. Continue reading...

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05 января, 15:08

The U.S. Media’s Problems Are Much Bigger than Fake News and Filter Bubbles

The U.S. media has come under intense scrutiny, with analysts, politicians, and even journalists themselves accusing it of bias and sensationalism — of having failed us — in its coverage of the presidential election. Critics across the political spectrum have said that fake news and cyberattacks played a big role in determining the course of events. The prevailing logic has an “if only” tenor: If only the media had been less swayed by shocking stories, if only bias in the media had been purged, and if only fake news had been eliminated and cyberattacks curtailed, the outcome would have been different. The presidential transition has been marked by the same attitude: if only the media were less distractible and headlines more accurate. Thinking that way is tempting, but it misses the mark. The media did exactly what it was designed to do, given the incentives that govern it. It’s not that the media sets out to be sensationalist; its business model leads it in that direction. Charges of bias don’t make the bias real; it often lies in the eye of the beholder. Fake news and cyberattacks are triggers, not causes. The issues that confront us are structural. To the question, If the media were to cover the election again, with the benefit of hindsight, could we expect anything different? my answer is a sobering no. This is for two reasons: the way news is produced and amplified (the supply side) and the way consumers process news (the demand side). A caveat is in order. The analysis here is not concerned with which candidate deserved to win or whose message was “better.” It is concerned with examining the media and its coverage, identifying its root causes, and understanding what we should expect going forward. The Supply Side I: Connectedness Matters More than Content or Money Political campaigns are marketing campaigns, messages aimed at selling a product. Like marketers, politicians obsess over messaging (what journalists would call “content”) and a few key metrics that historically have determined success: amount of television advertising, number of “foot soldiers,” intensity of get-out-the-vote operations, and voter demographics. But in the last two contests in which Hillary Clinton has participated, the 2008 primary and the 2016 election, she won on most of these metrics — and lost the elections. Two developments bear noting. First, and most obvious, traditional media is no longer the only way to spread the word. Any candidate can communicate directly and instantly with millions of people. Media companies are experiencing an extreme form of competition that comes with digital technologies: Everyone is a media company today. Second, and even more significant, social media is distinct from traditional media in that it connects users to each other. This means that messages can spread far more easily and quickly (compare how often you share a TV ad and a tweet). Essential Background How Focusing on Content Leads the Media Astray Strategy Audio Sarah Green Carmichael Bharat Anand, author of The Content Trap and professor at Harvard Business School, talks about the strategic challenges facing digital businesses. Save Share The implications are threefold: The best product doesn’t always win. Even if you have the best product or candidate, if you run a hub-and-spokes campaign, you’ll attract followers one by one. Create a product or candidate that connects users, and your message — and advantage — will spread rapidly. Apple learned this the hard way. For 20 years, starting in 1984, the Macintosh was superior to any PC. Yet by 2004 its market share was down to 3%. Apple had a great product, but Microsoft had a network of connected users. Because more people used PCs, and wrote software for them, they became the default choice for nearly everyone. Many organizations and entrepreneurs miss this lesson. Focus only on creating the best content or product, and you can lose because of untapped user connections — a phenomenon I call the “content trap.” It explains why firms that have anchored their strategies to content have ceded digital leadership to those that have focused on connections. Consider the Scandinavian media firm Schibsted, which engineered an impressive digital transformation through a philosophy of connectedness. It focused its efforts on earning a majority share of Europe’s digital classified advertising market (a product that connects buyers and sellers). It then shifted its news focus from great content to content rooted in the question “Can we help readers help each other?” During the volcanic ash crisis of 2010, what it offered wasn’t prize-winning stories about the roots of the eruption or its health implications, but an app (Hitchhiker’s Central) that allowed readers to share travel plans and offer rides to each other. Similarly, during the 2016 election, many American voters found journalistic content less relevant than what they were experiencing in their own lives. Bigger marketing budgets may not pay off. In a digital world full of product clutter, the best marketing campaigns spend nearly nothing. JC Penney spent no money on television advertising during the 2015 Super Bowl, yet its “mittens” campaign was one of the most watched. The campaign relied solely on Twitter and went viral by virtue of intentional spelling mistakes. Once a “connected” product draws in users, those users effectively become the sales force. Facebook, Uber, and Airbnb are all examples of this. Donald Trump spent only half of what Clinton did during the campaign. Expectations matter. In connected worlds, expectations about future growth affect what current users choose; people want to be on a winning platform. This has led to a strategy known as vaporware, a term for when firms announce strengths they may not possess or supposedly imminent product launches to draw users. Consider Trump’s first words in the June 2015 announcement of his candidacy: “Wow. Whoa. That is some group of people. Thousands.…This is beyond anybody’s expectations. There’s been no crowd like this.” This wasn’t just a campaign message; it was an effort to shape expectations and trigger connectedness. The Supply Side II: Ratings Determine Which Messages Get Amplified The first phase of a marketing campaign is deciding how and where to spend your marketing dollars. The second is influencing how your message gets amplified. One of the most important mechanisms for this is traditional media — so-called “earned media coverage.” You can spend a lot in the first phase and get little amplification in the second, or vice versa. Recycling the same message won’t earn amplification. And in today’s media environment, even “normal” news doesn’t break through information clutter; big, surprising events do. The media’s bias toward big events stems from three features of its economics: Fixed costs. The cost of covering a golf tournament doesn’t depend on whether Tiger Woods plays. But if he does, ratings — and revenue — double. The same phenomenon affects decisions about covering news stories or political rallies. An advertising-based model. Advertising (and other indirect charges like cable operator fees) are central to the economics of most news media, and this creates a bias whereby the number of viewers is more important than whether viewers like the coverage. (What matters is that you watch news coverage, not whether you are ready to throw a chair at it out of disgust.) Fixed costs have always been central to the economics of media. Advertising came later — and when it did, in the early 20th century, news became more sensational. That’s hardly surprising: The main metric by which news outlets are judged is the ratings they command, the page views they get, or the copies they sell. Spillovers. A big event in media and entertainment doesn’t just draw viewers to the event itself; it also entices viewers to consume follow-on or related products (and a company’s previous products, too). People who watch a television program are far more likely to watch the next program on that channel, for example. Each of these factors, individually, means that ratings or page views — the size of the audience — matter a lot for media firms. Together, they lead to a fixation on ratings to the exclusion of almost anything else. Competition further reinforces this dynamic, making audience size the metric by which media firms are measured. The outcome is a “ratings bubble” within which companies operate. Big-event bias is even more pronounced in entertainment worlds, where getting noticed has gotten increasingly hard over time. This explains the trend toward spinoffs, sequels, and franchises in broadcast television and movies (viewers are already familiar with the basic story) and big-name authors in books (they generate publicity) and why successful sports franchises tend to get even more successful over time (they draw lots of viewers, which allows them to spend more on star players, who draw even more viewers). Success might have more to do with awareness than with quality. When the pseudonymous Robert Galbraith published A Cuckoo’s Calling in 2013, the novel sold about 1,500 copies in the first month. After the author was revealed to be Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling, sales rose to over one million. Piggybacking on big events has allowed certain media companies to grow over time. Fox News, for instance, entered the seemingly mature cable market in 1996 and experienced notable upticks in viewers after “big news” events — the 2000 election, the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and the start of the war in Iraq. When an event drew viewers to cable news in general, Fox’s ratings grew along with the other networks’. But more of the viewers who tuned into Fox stayed with it after the event had passed when they realized the network’s coverage was different. In political campaigns, big events arise in one of three ways. The first is sporadically and unpredictably, as with the San Bernardino shooting or the Access Hollywood tape. The timing of such surprises can be particularly fortuitous or damaging (see: James Comey). The second is through name recognition. Events become more newsworthy if they’re accompanied by a big name. The third is by being created. Steve Jobs understood this more than most technology executives, which is why he elevated product launches to an art form: Every media firm had to cover a new Apple release. And Trump understood this more than any other candidate: Every time he made a provocative comment on a new subject, the news outlets covered it. These forces help explain why Trump got so much more media coverage than, say, Bernie Sanders, who touted a similarly antiestablishment, populist message. Populism and inequality aren’t news; calling Mexican immigrants rapists and vowing to build a wall are. So Sanders’s brand of populism wasn’t news; Trump’s was. The reason was rooted in media economics, not in the effort or preferences of journalists and programming executives. A combination of fixed costs, an advertising-reliant model, and spillovers produced a staggering difference in earned media coverage during the primaries: $2 billion for Trump and $300 million for Sanders. Television advertising, where Clinton had a huge leg up on both, hardly seemed to matter at all. Competition Can Backfire Competition and private firms operating in their self-interest typically lead to well-functioning markets. But that’s not always what happens. A well-known exception occurs when externalities exist — side effects on other people or firms that aren’t usually accounted for by private actors. (Canonical examples are cigarette smoking or pollution, or a store manager in a large retail chain pursuing actions that benefit his individual store but damage the parent company’s brand.) In situations like these, following your self-interest (in this case, as a media firm) doesn’t necessarily further the collective good, or even your own. In 2009 Netflix needed high-quality content to grow its streaming business. It could get that content only from Hollywood studios. The studios had seen Netflix grow its DVD business for a decade, and now, with a stronger bargaining position in the streaming market — the first-sale doctrine that allowed any DVD owner to resell did not apply to streaming — they could have chosen not to license to Netflix and nipped it in the bud. But they granted licenses, and Netflix soon became the giant they hadn’t wanted to see arise. Why did the studios act against their own interests? If they could have collectively agreed not to license to Netflix, the result would have been different. But they couldn’t. At first only Viacom relented, licensing archived Beavis and Butt-head episodes. One show, it reasoned, could not a streaming giant make. But then everyone followed that logic. It wasn’t that the content providers didn’t see what was happening; it was that they couldn’t coordinate. It’s why newspapers let Google crawl their content for Google News. It’s why they handed content to Facebook for its Instant Articles format last year. So, too, with the recent political campaign. If every media outlet had ignored Trump’s rallies and rhetoric, it would have paid handsomely for one outlet to cover them. But once one did cover them, no others could afford not to. These events coalesced dramatically toward the end of the campaign, when Trump announced a press conference in which he would ostensibly make a major announcement about President Obama’s birth certificate (a lie that he had prolonged that had found traction in media coverage several years back). Nearly every media outlet showed up. How could they not cover a major announcement by a presidential candidate? But it was a sham — there was no real announcement, other than that there would be no more announcements on the subject. This is the prisoner’s dilemma of reporting amid competition: Following your self-interest does not always further the collective good. The situation generated one of the most dispiritingly candid statements ever from a media executive: Early in 2016, when the head of CBS was asked about the disproportionate attention given to Trump, he quipped, “It may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS.” The network wasn’t alone. Cable news outlets enjoyed similar gains in 2016, marking it as their best year ever. Meanwhile, public trust in the press reached its lowest level in history. The Demand Side: Consumers Consume What They Want To One of the longest-standing debates in marketing is not whether advertising works, but how it does. One view is that marketing persuades consumers to purchase. Hear a song once, and you may not like it; hear it repeatedly, and you’ll start to, regardless of how good or bad it is (hence the phrase “all publicity is good publicity”). Others argue that marketing merely increases awareness without altering beliefs. By this reasoning, repeated exposure to a song that doesn’t match your taste might make you less likely to buy it. Does media reporting change what we believe, or do our preferences shape what media we choose to watch in the first place? Most research indicates that the latter is central: Our preexisting preferences largely determine what media we watch. One of the most reliable findings in the study of television entertainment is that viewers watch programs whose characters are like themselves. Older people watch shows featuring older characters, younger viewers watch shows featuring younger ones; the same goes for gender, ethnicity, and income. A similar effect is seen in news: We watch outlets whose reporting is consistent with our beliefs. Viewers who identify with the right are more likely to watch Fox, while left-leaning people are more likely to watch MSNBC. Similar differences apply to intra-network program choices, since programs on the same network can differ in their positioning. These patterns in news-watching would be puzzling if all that news providers did was provide verifiably objective information. But like entertainment programs, news programs and channels differ in their positioning, in the way they report information (often referred to as slant), and in what information they report (agenda setting). News positioning matters — viewers watch news programs and channels whose positions match their tastes and beliefs. This pattern of sorting on beliefs is amplified over time by various additional factors. The first is competition among media, which has increased as digital technologies have led to a vast number of new media outlets, each catering to more-niche tastes. The second is viewers’ confirmation bias, which leads us to reject valid information that is not consistent with our beliefs. Confirmation bias is deeply rooted in human behavior. It affects not just how we process information but who we associate with, creating “filter bubbles.” These bubbles are further reinforced by website algorithms designed to personalize the information we receive based on our past behaviors. Persuasive effects of the media also serve to solidify these bubbles. (And even small persuasive effects can have large effects in close elections.) Each factor increases viewer polarization, which on certain measures has reached unprecedented levels. Together, they shape how we respond to bias in the media. Consider the debate over left and right media bias, which goes back several decades and has grown in intensity over time. Part of what makes discussions of bias so thorny is that we almost never agree on what bias is. Both the debate and studies tend to focus on what the media reports — on content. But studies show that content is not the only place where bias lives. In experiments, when two people with different beliefs view exactly the same content, their perceptions of bias differ. Add it all up, and the implications are profound. First, we watch what we believe, but what we don’t watch, we don’t believe. This is the effect of sorting based on beliefs. Second, negative coverage can have unintended consequences. Hear a source you don’t trust, and when it reports something inconsistent with your beliefs, you’ll discount that thing even more. (The rare exception is when events are incontrovertibly verifiable — for example, the question of who said what on the Access Hollywood tape.) During the election season, more newspapers endorsed Clinton than any presidential candidate in U.S history. Papers with a tradition of endorsing Republicans endorsed her; papers with a tradition of not endorsing a candidate did, too. But none of it mattered; editorial content was essentially irrelevant. Third, and for the same reason, charges of media bias can actually help an outlet. The more your favorite channel is alleged to be biased by people you disagree with, the more you’ll watch it. Trump wasn’t the first to see this phenomenon: In Fox News’s early days, senior executives often acknowledged that charges of bias appeared to help them. And it isn’t specific to right-leaning voters. After the election, when Trump tweeted complaints about the New York Times and Vanity Fair, both outlets saw a rise in subscriptions. Charges of bias harden beliefs and reinforce polarization. Particularly sobering is that all this has nothing do with the much-lamented problem of fake news. Get rid of all verifiably fake news, as Facebook and others certainly should, and filter bubbles, polarization, and charges of media bias will remain. Where Does This Leave Us? Three forces combine to create the media coverage of political campaigns we observe today: connected media, which spreads messages faster than traditional media; fixed costs and advertising-reliant business models in traditional media, which amplify sensational messages; and viewers’ news consumption patterns, which leads to people sorting across media outlets based on their beliefs and makes messages they already agree with far more effective. Each reinforces the others. Without these enabling factors, even the best marketing campaign would go nowhere, and fake news or leaked information from cyberattacks would have little effect. Fair questions have been raised about the lack of investigative journalism early in the campaign, false equivalencies in reporting, and the use of paid campaign operatives as experts on television news. But digital technology and business incentives exerted more influence over the media coverage than editorial decisions and missing voices did. The ratings bubble had as much impact as filter bubbles did. The forces at work here — the search for profitability, competition, and self-interest — are things we embrace as profoundly American. Competition in the media leads to efficiency as well as to checks and balances — all good things. But it fails to internalize the externalities from profitable but sensational coverage. It leads to differentiation and more voices (also good, and what’s been the focus of regulatory efforts) but also to fragmentation, polarization, and less-penetrable filter bubbles (dangerous). It’s tempting to stretch the analysis between marketing and politics too far. They are different in important respects. Most notable, in marketing you can win through strategies that exploit the big-event bias of media (through attention-grabbing rhetoric) and the beliefs of consumers (through allegations that discredit your competitors). These strategies draw in consumers who are right for your brand. But in presidential politics, the same approach is incredibly risky because when you win, you serve everyone, not just those who “purchased your product.” Despite these differences, the same economics of information supply-and-demand that shape digital strategies in business are doing so in politics. Which leads to my conclusion: Even if we could somehow push “reset,” we would have to expect the same sort of coverage that we got. The problems are too deep and structural for anything else. What’s the way forward? There are no easy answers to the question. This analysis mainly points to solutions that won’t work. Voluntary efforts at restraint by well-meaning journalists won’t work, because of advertising-based business models and competition. Eliminating fake news won’t change the fact that voters ignore ideas contrary to their beliefs. And it won’t solve the media’s structural challenges or change its incentives. Media companies, their regulators, and their customers — all of us — have to look for ways to confront these challenges. The stakes could not be higher.

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04 января, 16:58

Are Options Traders Betting on a Big Move in Viacom (VIAB) Stock?

Options traders are pricing in a big move for Viacom (VIAB) shares as it has huge implied volatility.

03 января, 17:45

Is Viacom (VIAB) a Great Stock for Value Investors?

Let's see if Viacom, Inc. (VIAB) stock is a good choice for value-oriented investors right now, or if investors subscribing to this methodology should look elsewhere for top picks.

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30 декабря 2016, 17:50

Will Alphabet Extend its Dominance to Video Streaming?

Online and mobile video consumption is increasing by the day and Alphabet Inc.'s (GOOGL) Google remains strongly positioned in this space with its YouTube platform.

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28 декабря 2016, 23:28

Viacom's Prospects Improve Now That CBS Takeover Is Dead

Shari Redstone assumed control of Viacom in an effort to have CBS, which is also controlled by the Redstone family, acquire Viacom. Now that CBS has decided not to proceed with the acquisition, it’s time for Viacom’s public shareholders to reassess their investment.

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21 декабря 2016, 22:17

Comedy Central, MTV head Doug Herzog leaving Viacom

The struggling media giant Viacom is about to lose another veteran executive.

21 декабря 2016, 22:05

Viacom unit head overseeing MTV, Comedy Central to leave

SAN FRANCISCO/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Longtime Viacom Inc (VIAB.O) executive Doug Herzog, who oversees the networks Comedy Central and MTV, is leaving the company next month, according to a memo to employees sent Wednesday from chief executive Bob Bakish. Herzog, a 25-year veteran at Viacom known for helping develop such MTV hits as "The Real World" and Comedy Central's "The Daily Show," is leaving as part of a restructuring following the appointment of Bob Bakish as chief executive officer earlier this month, sources told Reuters.

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21 декабря 2016, 07:30

MTV Removes Racist ‘Hey Fellow White Guy’s Video’; But the Internet Remembers

I can go a lot of ways with this material. I could trigger many of you to breathe fire over the racist MTV video that mocked and demonized white males, but what's the point? These people are irrelevant and ineffective. They're losing the culture wars, targeting the largest group of people (white males) in the country in a feeble attempt to make them feel like shit, and the being mocked to death for it. In this case, following the release of a video which the cucks at MTV figured would be well received, they were roundly humiliated for their lameness and outward hatred for white men -- forcing them to remove the video from their infantile channel. Remember the days when MTV only played music videos? Those were the good days. Now they want to delve into social engineering, but their pedigrees aren't very good and their cognitive thinking is weak-- which is why they lose. Tucker Carlson broached the subject this evening, talking about how wrong it was to label any race as bad, etc, etc. All of that is a secondary issue here when discussing the failed agitprop of the left. Bear in mind, this is a party that has shed over 900 legislative seats since 2010 and holds just 18 governorships and no meaningful leadership in both the house and senate. The left is failing, worldwide, because they're weak, ineffective, and intellectually lazy. We can only hope for more MTV videos of this sort, in order to expedite the pushback against establishment shills.     Content originally generated at iBankCoin.com

21 декабря 2016, 01:04

Critical Information You'll Never Know

It makes perfect sense that the securities industry wants you to trade. Trading means commissions and commissions are the lifeblood of brokerage firms. Shills and emperors with no clothes The financial media is often a shill for brokerage firms. Its daily grist is a parade of pundits who tout which stocks to buy and sell. Cramer is the worst of the lot. He recently opined that Bristol-Myers (NYSE: BMY) is "for the long run"; ABM Industries (NYSE: ABM) is "a good business due to Trump" and CBS (NYSE: CBS) is a better stock to own than Viacom. Cramer "is not a fan" of Viacom. There is no credible evidence that Cramer has stock picking expertise, and overwhelming data to the contrary. His stock picking views should not be taken seriously by anyone, but CNBC gives him a platform to spew nonsense relied upon by gullible investors, often to their detriment. Cramer is not alone. There's an endless parade of "pros" encouraging investors to buy stocks or sell. What they won't tell you While Cramer and others are keen to express their opinions, there's one area they never discuss: Their predictive track record. And with good reason. Based on an analysis from those who actually track these things, most "gurus" have an accuracy rate that is about what you would expect from random chance. Cramer's is actually worse at only 46.8 percent. You would do better if you flipped a coin. Critical information Here critical information you don't know -- but should -- before you conclude a stock is mispriced and place a trade. Who's on the other side of the trade? These statistics, compiled in 2011, give you a good idea. If anything, the percentage of institutional trading has increased since then. High frequency trading accounted for 56 percent of trades. Institutional trading accounted for 17 percent. Hedge funds accounted for 15 percent. Retail (and "other") accounted for only 12 percent. Given this data, the most likely entity on the other side of your trade is not another individual like you, but rather a professional trader, with access to high-speed computers, complex algorithms and an army of stock analysts. Trading for these entities is not something they do in their spare time. They are focused on it every minute of every day. Institutions have the ability to program their computers for automatic selling triggered by proprietary data. When they are selling, do you really want to be a buyer? When you buy individual stock, you are making an assumption that is often unwarranted: That you know something the person on the other side of the trade doesn't. But since you don't know whose on the other side, you have no rational basis for this assumption. And since it's probable the entity selling while you are buying is a high-frequency trader, the likelihood you are right and it is wrong is considerably diminished. The next time Cramer and other "pros" recommend you buy a stock, ask yourself this question: Who is selling? Then buy a low management fee, broadly diversified, index fund instead. The views of the author are his alone. He is not affiliated with any broker, fund manager or advisory firm. Any data, information and content on this blog is for information purposes only and should not be construed as an offer of advisory services. Get Dan's investing insights by signing up for his free, weekly newsletter here. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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20 декабря 2016, 05:11

Ученые назвали главные факторы счастливых романтических отношений

Американская компания Viacom провела опрос среди жителей разных стран мира, чтобы выяснить, что является основными факторами счастливых романтических отношений. 

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19 декабря 2016, 18:58

The Real Reason Why Viacom and CBS Ended Discussions

The dominant narrative of why CBS won't pursue a merger with CBS is because Les Moonves didn't want the assets. What if the real reason is that the Redstones see more upside from keeping Viacom separate?

16 декабря 2016, 20:50

New Analyst Reports for Berkshire Hathaway, Statoil and Procter & Gamble

New Analyst Reports for Berkshire Hathaway, Statoil and Procter & Gamble

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16 декабря 2016, 19:39

Sumner Redstone Will Exit Viacom's Board, But That Won't Change Much

In a move which marks the end of a media era, Redstone will no longer be a voting member of the struggling media company's board of directors.