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CNN president Jeff Zucker said Monday that quality journalism will die without help from companies in other sectors.
“There’s no question in a Google and Facebook world, monetization of content is important,” Zucker said during an onstage interview at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. “We are doing well. But we need help from the advertising and technology worlds, otherwise good journalism will go away. That’ll be bad for the U.S. and for the rest of the world.”
Zucker went on to say that regulators should keep an eye on the power Facebook and Google wield.
“Everyone is looking at whether these combinations of AT&T and Time Warner or Fox and Disney pass government approval and muster, the fact is nobody for some reason is looking at the monopolies that are Google and Facebook,” the CNN chief said. “That’s where the government should be looking, and helping to make sure everyone else survives. I think that’s probably the biggest issue facing the growth of journalism in the years ahead.”
Zucker also spoke directly to the competition from online video streaming giants, saying that while Netflix and Amazon have changed consumption habits in many genres of content, “live news and live sports are immune” to them.
“CNN has never been more relevant,” Zucker also said in Barcelona. “OTT has not had a dramatic effect on CNN. Our core business has never been stronger.”
He added about the streaming giants: “They are interested in documentaries, and we obviously compete with them in that space. But our immediacy and relevance and our ability to distribute worldwide differentiate us.”
Zucker also argued that there is still a good business in telling the truth and reiterated an old adage, saying that “content is still king.”
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