ITN for Channel 4 News
Coordinated with The Guardian and The New York Times, Channel 4’s exposé of Cambridge Analytica played a key role in showing us all how very open our personal data are to harvesting, and the worrying uses to which that data can be put. Cambridge Analytica was a political consulting firm that had mined the data of millions of Facebook users’ profiles to deliver information to political campaigns including those of Ted Cruz, Donald Trump, and Brexit. Leveraging an interview and information provided by former Cambridge Analytica analyst Christopher Wylie, and including secretly recorded tape of CEO Alexander Nix saying the firm undertook acts of espionage and entrapment to destroy political opponents, the impact of the reporting was immediate. Investigations into the company and Facebook’s involvement were launched worldwide, Facebook lost over $100 billion in share price, and Cambridge Analytica soon closed operations. Throughout its reporting, Channel 4 News exhibited admirable ambidexterity in attending as much to the specifics of who did what, as to the broader ethical questions that the scandal posed to digital citizens about how open and commodifiable our social media posts have become, and about the state of politics and campaigning in the age of Facebook. For this, we award them a Peabody.
PRIMARY PRODUCTION CREDITS
Executive Producers: Ben de Pear, Nevine Mabro, Job Rabkin. Producers: Guy Basnett, Ed Howker. Associate Producers: Georgina Lee, Delara Shakib, Alice Anderson, Kay Bibi. Directors: Tom Stone. Editors: Agnieska Liggett, Matthew Welham. Correspondents: Kylie Morris, Andy Davies. Cinematography: Nick Blakemore, Ben Martin, Matt Symonds, Neil Corbett.