Platforms & Publishers

Platforms & Publishers

Reports & Briefs

Tow Fellows

Tow/Knight Projects

Platforms and Publishers –Overview–

Overview of multi-year project on the developing relationship between social media platforms and publishers.


The Tow Center is embarking on a multi-year project researching the relationship between journalism and social platforms in order to promote mutual understanding and best practices for conducting journalism on the social web.

In the rush to capture audiences and establish new commercial businesses the impact on the citizen rather than consumer is often overlooked. Non-commercial functions of the free press, such as defending free speech, protecting vulnerable sources, resisting government pressure for censorship, practicing commercial transparency, are new requirements for technology companies.

This project will provide news publishers and journalists with a more granular understanding of how journalism and independent publishing is affected by integration with social media, and how platform companies are also having to adapt to a new role. It will engage software and social platform companies in understanding best practices for supporting ethical journalism in a new environment.

We’d love to hear from you if you are grappling with the issues of publishing and monetizing distributed content. Please get in touch with Meritxell Roca: m.roca [at] columbia [dot] edu.

To learn more about the project, read Emily Bell’s “Who owns the news?” on Columbia Journalism Review and read about our preliminary findings.


February 21, 2017