And it’s a move that’s sure to raise eyebrows not just in Silicon Valley, but in Manhattan media circles as well. Morning Media has learned that Apple has given the job — a new position at the Cupertino-based company — to Lauren Kern, one of New York magazine’s most high-ranking editors and a former deputy editor at The New York Times Magazine.
It’s unclear at this point what this position will mean for Apple News, as the company and Kern declined to comment. I assume Apple is building more of editorial organization within Apple News, but how big it will be, and what it will do within the app is unknown, to me at least.
Two things do come to mind though.
First, Apple could be building a news team. I think this is pretty unlikely, but first-party reporting within Apple News could add value to the platform. This team could even generate video for Apple’s Always-Rumored-But-Never-Here TV offering. Getting into reporting can be expensive and risky. Moreover, it just doesn’t seem like a very Apple-like move to me.
What I think is more likely is the second option; this new team could be working to influence coverage seen in Apple News to a greater extent than what is happening now.
Facebook has been under pressure for influencing the top news trends seen by its users, as well as its shifting approach to fighting fake news. If Apple wades into these waters, it will have to deal with these issues at some point.
It’s very tricky business to exercise editorial control over news from outside sources. I’m very curious to see what — if anything — changes in Apple News in the future.