Ben Smith

How Pro-Trump Forces Work the Refs in Silicon Valley

A politician “working the refs” is complaining vocally about a referee’s decision in the hopes of getting a better call next time. It’s a tactic the Trump movement has revived and deftly employed against the powerful, befuddled new referees of public debate, Google, Facebook and Twitter.

How tech and media can fight fake news

[Commentary] How can media companies do professional journalism that reaches audiences on the major platforms? And how can the giant platforms make that professional journalism worth their while?

I’m glad that the 2016 election has prompted people to buy new subscriptions to paywalled legacy publications. But that, by definition, is a way to stay out of the trenches, to keep clean hands in the new media wars. Instead, legacy outlets and new ones alike could let important coverage that is native to this new space out from behind paywalls. Editors could treat the information ecosystem as a frontline beat. And the platforms need to find a way to support the native journalism that is the only antidote to the poison in their veins.

[Ben Smith is the Editor in Chief of BuzzFeed.]