Tech platforms ‘pretty happy’ with news media’s trading code, Gaven Morris suspects

Former ABC news director and new CEO of Bastion Transform, Gaven Morris has warned that a mixed modeling approach to state-funded journalism could become a “slippery slope”.

Speaking on this week’s Mumbrellacast, which will be out tomorrow, Morris said: “I think we have to be very careful to be honest because you’ll see some of the big tech and digital platforms tapping their feet and complaining about the fact that they ‘are compelled by regulation to provide more support to the news and journalism industry’.

Morris: Tech platforms ‘pretty happy with how it worked’

“But I also feel that behind all of this in their conference rooms, they’re pretty happy with how it’s worked out, because what they haven’t given is access to their core algorithms. to their main content streams, in all of those places, they would be terrified of different regulators or monetization models than what they have established.”


Morris said that as a result, media organizations need to be “very careful” in how they interact with these new programs.

“While it’s great to have revenue from big tech platforms in newsrooms and in media organizations,” he said. “Let’s not be so naïve to think that we still need to protect the core business models in the first place that some of these platforms have done a lot of damage to in recent years.”

“But also their ability to always monopolize audiences on their main platforms, through their main algorithms and their main storefronts. So I think it’s a matter of watching this space a bit.

The ABC signed a letter of intent with Google and Facebook last year

Morris said one of the things he talked about “very actively” inside the ABC, before he left at the end of last year, was making sure that as a public broadcaster, he would not end up with a mixed model. funding, through some of the technology players.

He said there are “state-funded reporters and newsrooms here, and meanwhile, Google and Facebook-funded reporters and newsrooms” are becoming a very slippery slope for a public media organization.

“But in commercial media organizations, I also think there are things to watch in terms of what that means for business models and what that means for the power of those platforms.”

Later in the conversation, Morris talks about the ABC’s approach to defending itself against external criticism, the market place of its new transformation consultancy at Bastion, and last week’s funding increase. for ABC and SBS.

Catch the full conversation tomorrow on the Mumbrellacast. Subscribe to the Mumbrellacast on your favorite podcast platform or visit past episodes on the podcast hub here.