At Banter Live, Reporters Discuss Facebook, Data Privacy and the Future of Journalism

The definitions of privacy, communication and trust have changed significantly in the past few years. It seems like every other week more news comes out about a major data breach. In particular, Facebook’s missteps have put data privacy in the spotlight while bringing attention to the way tech companies communicate. For our latest Banter Live event, Bateman Group gathered three of the tech industry’s leading reporters to discuss what the “Facebook Effect” means for the future of corporate accountability.

Panelists from The New York Times, CNN and BuzzFeed News explored how the role of journalism has shifted in response to the outsized role of corporations in managing (and often mismanaging) consumer data. Reporters must strike the balance of building relationships with sources within giant tech companies while acting as watchdogs—a trend BuzzFeed News technology reporter Alex Kantrowitz said is likely to accelerate. As journalists, he said, “It’s our job to question the power structure.”

Mike Isaac of The New York Times expressed the gravity of this responsibility.  “Our words have a lot of impact,” Isaac said. “They could make or break some of these companies.”

Reporting on the tech industry today is more relevant than ever to consumers’ daily lives. “Little bits of privacy are eroding over time,” said CNN technology reporter Heather Kelly, noting that every little bit consumers can hold onto makes a difference.

Panelists also looked to the future, debating whether Mark Zuckerberg can ever earn back the trust of consumers and sharing their predictions for the future of privacy. “One of the worst things that could happen is that all of this stuff gets out and no one trusts each other,” Kantrowitz said. “Where does it go from there?”

Watch highlights of the event below and follow us to learn more about Banter Live and join us for the next one.