An Amazon-owned firm is hiring editors to push local crime news to its users.
Is this journalism? I say not.
Yes, there is legitimate reason to be concerned about crime. Yes, covering crime is a central theme in covering local news. It is important but this is not that.
This to me is more a marketing strategy based in leveraging fear to drive sales of a device that ostensibly can protect you from crime. The goal is to get potential buyers’ attention by using the considerable algorithmic power of Amazon to identify and drill down to local crime stories then target shoppers, feed them those local crime stories and scare them into buying a doorbell.
This is real “fake news” being used to drive sales. What makes it any different from the “fake news” on social media targeted to drive hate?
That may seem to be an extreme comparison but it is fundamentally the same thing. Fear mongering can go wrong in so many ways. Is it really necessary to use it to sell a doorbell? I think not.