‘Context, perspective and facts’ casualties of industry financial squeeze, says Bloomberg co-founder

Bloomberg Editor-in-Chief Emeritus Matthew Winkler talks about the news organization’s local training program. (File Photo / Reuters)
Updated 10 September 2018
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‘Context, perspective and facts’ casualties of industry financial squeeze, says Bloomberg co-founder

LONDON: Arab News Business Editor, Sean Cronin, talks to Bloomberg Editor-in-Chief Emeritus Matthew Winkler about the news organization’s local training program.
Q: What is the next step for the students who go through the course?
A: The course exposes students to the various elements of financial journalism, and introduces them to Bloomberg’s brand of data-driven reporting, based on the “Bloomberg Way,” the students will hear directly from more than 20 Bloomberg journalists and analysts from London and the Middle East, on everything from using social media as a reporting tool and multimedia journalism, to journalistic ethics and principles and covering Middle East economies.
We hope to strengthen their existing interest in pursuing a career in financial journalism, and to inspire them to explore these specific areas further following the completion of the course.
Q:Will any go on to work for Bloomberg?
A: Through this course, and indeed all our global financial training programs, we want to inspire students to pursue a career in financial business and news organizations, whether that is at Bloomberg or elsewhere. We encouraged a number of participants from last January’s course to apply for our global internship programs. Two participants were particularly interested in how we use data across Bloomberg, and recently completed our summer data internship program in London. A third participant will begin a news internship in Dubai later this month.
Q: How many students do you expect to train every year?
A: We expect to train 40 to 50 students in total every year. Thirty students participated in the first edition of the program; this number dropped slightly in the second edition as we have implemented a rigorous application process to ensure we have the strongest candidates.
Q: Do you see core journalistic skills being threatened by financial pressures facing the industry and the churn demanded of reporters?
A: Yes, I believe this is especially the case in broadcast news where context, perspective and facts are casualties of this. This is where accuracy, which is at the heart of the “Bloomberg Way,” becomes particularly important.
Q: Is it becoming more challenging for local and national media to hold organizations accountble, and what can be done to change that?
A: Financial pressures have eroded local news reporting, so there is a lack of accountability when there is no vibrant local press, which in turn leads to limited public discourse.


Facebook dating service rolling out in Colombia

Updated 22 September 2018
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Facebook dating service rolling out in Colombia

  • Colombians are particularly avid fans of using social networks and websites to find partners
  • The service is programmed not to link up people who are already connected as family or friends

BOGOTA: Facebook said Friday a dating service it teased early this year is being rolled out in Colombia.
The social media giant chose the Latin American country as its test lab because Colombians are particularly avid fans of using social networks and websites to find partners.
The new feature, rolled out in Colombia this week, allows users to create a separate “dating” profile not visible to their network of friends, with potential matches recommended based on preferences and common interests.
The service is programmed not to link up people who are already connected as family or friends, and users of Facebook Dating will also be able to block people if they wish.
A basic chat service will be available, and the site will bar strangers from sending photos, videos or links.
Some 21 million people log in to Facebook every day in Colombia, a country of 50 million people, according to the company.
“We view this as an incredible opportunity to continue helping people build relationships in meaningful ways on Facebook,” said Facebook Dating product manager Nathan Sharp.
Facebook’s chief Mark Zuckerberg in May announced plans for the new dating feature at the world’s leading online social network — while vowing to make privacy protection its top priority in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
Zuckerberg was emphatic that the focus would be on helping people find partners, not flings.
“This is going to be for building real, long-term relationships, not just hookups,” Zuckerberg said in presenting the new feature.
He said the dating offer was built with privacy and safety in mind.
Facebook faced intense global scrutiny over the mass harvesting of personal data by Cambridge Analytica, a British political consultancy that worked for Donald Trump’s 2016 election campaign.
The company has admitted up to 87 million users may have had their data hijacked in the scandal.