The new media and social media were rays of light, and growth, over the last 10 years. But the old media, the newspapers, the cable news channels, resented this growth.They resented not being able to control the American conversation the way they used to.
The old media will try to make as much hay as possible of the current Facebook flap. And this even though Facebook has been way friendlier to the big shots than the little shots. The old media want blood.
The beneficiaries of Facebook’s recent changes to its newsfeed are a sea of old-world media: CNN, NBC, ABC, The Washington Post, and The New York Times have either been unaffected by Facebook’s changes or have seen their traffic rise.
A report by the social media analytics company NewsWhip found that corporate media outlets, most notably CNN, saw average engagement on their posts soar upwards by almost 50 percent this month. Non-corporate right-wing media, including Breitbart News, saw their engagement fall. Breitbart News slid from the 9th most-engaged site on Facebook in December to 21st in March, while Western Journal fell from 12th in February to 22nd in March.
The losers are not just the right, but the whole anti-establishment media. Conservative new media has been hit hard, true: Gateway Pundit has taken a massive hit on both Facebook traffic and engagement, as has Breitbart and PragerU. But so too has ShareBlue and BuzzFeed. Talking Points Memo, another website of the populist left, has seen its Facebook traffic drop by nearly 80 percent.
Facebook is propping up old media at the expense of new media, elites against populists, and establishment against anti-establishment.