Tinius Digest January 2021

Tinius Digest

Tinius Digest report on changes, trends and developments within the media business at large. This is our key findings from last month.

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Insight January 2021

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Norway: The digital age gap widens

The Norwegian Media Authority has released a report looking into Norwegians media usage during the pandemic. The report also covers the media habits in 2019.

Download the report.

Read similar reports for Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Iceland

Four main findings:

1

Significant age gap

99 percent of Norwegians consume some news, and 8 out of 10 follow the news coverage daily. But the sources and platforms used are closely correlated with age: Those under the age of 45 are significantly more digital than their older compatriots. These differences can create information gaps between different groups and should therefore be followed closely in the future.

2

Social media less important

Whilst 26 percent of Norwegians pointed to social media as an essential source for news in 2019, this number fell to 18 percent in 2020.

3

Digital trumps analog

The average Norwegian used a whopping 2 hours and 58 minutes consuming information online every day in 2019. This is twice the amount of time spent on traditional TV. Time spent on traditional radio fell to a record low 1 hour and 5 minutes in 2019.

4

...but TV still important for news

The most important news sources in Norway are TV (65%), free digital news (58%), paid digital news (41%), radio (36%) and printed newspapers (23%). 

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Free news threatens subscription growth

The willingness to pay for news is still increasing in Norway, shows a Norwegian Media Businesses’ Association report. But access to free news is threatening future growth.

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Three main findings:

1

Free access – a growing threat

6 out of 10 Norwegians who do not pay for news today argue that they don’t need to pay due to free access from other news sources. 32 percent of the non-payers points to sufficient access to free news via TV and radio.

2

Most Norwegian have access to paid news

68 percent of Norwegians have access to paid news via newspaper subscriptions. This is up from 63 percent in 2018. 

3

Largest growth among young adults

The older you are, the more likely it is that you’ll pay for news. But the growth in news subscriptions is largest among Norwegians under the age of 30, where now 49 percent have access to at least one news subscription.

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2021: Five predictions for post-pandemic newsrooms

Covid-19 accelerated digital transition in newsrooms, but we might see some unexpected developments in 2021.

Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism has published its annual report with predictions for journalism, media and technology trends.

Download the report.

Five interesting predictions

1

More face-to-face reporting

Journalists will get out of the office more, freed by technology to deliver more face-to-face reporting, becoming more embedded in communities. 

2

Price of talent goes up

The success of independent subscription-focused platforms (like Substack) will create more opportunities for talented journalists. 

3

Objectivity under pressure

Traditional notions of journalistic objectivity and impartiality are coming under pressure. Greater political and social polarisation in many countries paves the way for an increasing number of partial news outlets.

4

The importance of AI becomes clearer

69 percent believe AI will have the most significant impact on journalism over the next five years. The technology will make it possible to deliver more personalized experiences and improving production efficiency. But the technology gap will be more visible, leaving smaller, independent newsrooms behind.

5

More revenue diversification

Revenue diversification will be a central theme, with publishers focusing on four different revenue streams this year: Digital subscriptions, advertising (native/display), e-commerce and events.

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Facial recognition technology can expose political orientation

A picture is worth a thousand words – and maybe even more. A new study using facial recognition shows that a picture of your face may expose your political orientation.

Download the study.

Three interesting findings:

1

2.048 face descriptors

Researchers trained the computer program with over 1 million portraits connected to self-reported political orientation. The program created 2.048 face descriptors and can calculate the possibility of political orientation.

2

Remarkable accuracy

The system can correctly classify 72 percent of liberal-conservative face pairs. Accuracy remained high (69%) even when controlling for age, gender, and ethnicity.

3

Serious implications

The study’s main objective is to illuminate the possible consequences of the widespread use of facial recognition and show the importance of protecting privacy and civil liberties.

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Report: Superintelligence cannot be contained

A new, international study published in the Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research paints a potentially dystopian picture of the future. The researchers themselves are alarmed by the findings.

Download the study.

Three main findings

1

Impossible to secure humanity

It is mathematically impossible to secure humanity against the negative consequences of artificial intelligence. Even if humans install safety valves, super-intelligent systems will easily override any algorithms to provide security for humans and our civilization.

2

Fundamental limits

The researchers found that none of the known theories to safeguard against a catastrophic development of artificial intelligence is mathematically plausible. This is due to fundamental limits inherent to computing itself, whereas hypothetical superintelligence will be too complicated for humans to comprehend.

3

A need for regulations

The researchers behind the study from Spain, Germany, U.S. and Chile point to the necessity of international regulations of artificial intelligence development – even though superintelligence is still just a hypothetical possibility.

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16.114 GDPR-complaints in Scandinavia

In the last 12 months, there has been a significant increase in both GDPR-complaints and GDPR-related fines in Europe. 

But there are substantial differences between countries, shows DLA Pipers annual GDPR-report.

Download the report.

Three main findings:

1

Regulators testing their powers

In the last 12 months, regulators have received 331 breach notifications per day and issuing EUR158.5m (NOK/SEK1,6bn) in fines. But several companies have had successful appeals and large reductions in proposed fines. 

2

19 percent increase in Scandinavia

The data protection authorities in Sweden, Norway and Denmark received 16.114 GDPR-complaints (+19%). Adjusted for population, Denmark is by far the country with the largest number of complaints. But the number of complaints does not seem to result in any significant GDPR-fines. 

3

Ireland is still moving slow

Both Sweden and Norway have issued more and higher GDPR-fines than Ireland – the country with the responsibility to oversee GDPR for all the major American technology companies operating in Europe. 

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National news organisations dominates Google News

What role does Google News have for the future of local journalism? 

An American study published in Nature Human Behaviour concludes that it might be more important than we previously thought. 

Download the article.

Three main findings

1

National newsrooms get prioritized

A small number of national news organisations dominate the search results at Google, thus getting a disproportionate amount of the search traffic.

2

Local news difficult to find

The number of local outlets and demographics associated with local news consumption is not related to the likelihood of finding a local news outlet. 

3

Diverting ad revenue

Google inadvertently diverts vital ad revenue and potential subscribers when they divert web traffic away from local to national news sources.

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