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Apple Partners with ABC News for 2020 Election Coverage

Apple News, a newcomer to the industry, is teaming up ABC News for 2020 election coverage. The move leverages synergies between broadcast and digital news media, producing rich, dynamic content.

By Chand Bellur

December 29, 2019 at 6:20 p.m. PDT

Apple News Using ABC News Content

Apple’s partnership with ABC News seems to lean heavily on the more established news provider. The arrangement provides video clips and other content for the Apple News app. The app will also feature charts and graphs from FiveThirtyEight.

The partnership also extends into live events. ABC and Apple will collaborate with WMUR-TV, covering the first debate after primary voting commences.

Apple and ABC have committed to the partnership beyond the election. Apple News will feature clips from ABC News, up to and including the 2021 inauguration. Apple News will begin featuring ABC News videos and live streaming beginning with the Democratic primary debate on February 7, 2020.

Is Apple News Biased?

Partnering with one news agency seems to ensure bias. While some polls find ABC News to be credible, these studies tend to omit other news providers, such as PBS, or suffer from other methodological flaws. At best, less than 70% of all American adults find ABC News to be credible.

Obtaining news from multiple sources would ensure fair coverage. Partnering with only one news provider limits the breadth of news coverage and may alienate some Apple customers. It also gives both Apple and ABC the ability to omit coverage that may be damaging to their interests.

When Apple News launched, its mission was to provide better quality news to its customers. Partnering with ABC News and FiveThirtyEight will provide rich, dynamic content to Apple News users. This comes at the cost of diverse news coverage.

News audiences have other options than the news app that’s built in to their iPhone. In larger media studies, the PBS NewsHour, the Economist and NPR are typically the most trusted news sources. All of these are available on the iPhone and myriad devices, include terrestrial broadcasts (radio, antenna TV).

Regardless of political affiliations and beliefs, it’s always good to stay informed with the highest quality information. Apple News, with its human curation and limited partnerships, may be more of an echo chamber than a source of quality news. It’s not the worst source of information, however, if you desire more details and deeper analysis, you won’t find that on Apple News.


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