Traditional journalist bemoans Silicon Valley takeover

From Franklin Foer at the Atlantic:

Makers of magazines and newspapers used to think of their product as a coherent package—an issue, an edition, an institution. They did not see themselves as the publishers of dozens of discrete pieces to be trafficked each day on Facebook, Twitter, and Google. Thinking about bundling articles into something larger was intellectually liberating. Editors justified high-minded and quixotic articles as essential for “the mix.” If readers didn’t want a report on child poverty or a dispatch from South Sudan, they wouldn’t judge you for providing one. In fact, they might be flattered that you thought they would like to read such articles.

Journalism has performed so admirably in the aftermath of Trump’s victory that it has grown harder to see the profession’s underlying rot. Now each assignment is subjected to a cost-benefit analysis—will the article earn enough traffic to justify the investment? Sometimes the analysis is explicit and conscious, though in most cases it’s subconscious and embedded in euphemism. Either way, it’s this train of thought that leads editors to declare an idea “not worth the effort” or to worry about whether an article will “sink.” The audience for journalism may be larger than it was before, but the mind-set is smaller. More.

Reality check: If tree falls in a deserted forest, does it make any noise? If left coast journalism just isn’t popular the way it used to be, would the left coast know that? Or would they start blaming new technology that – if not jimmied – allows readers to opt out? Hmmm.

See also: Why left-wing Salon cannot pay its rent

  • DavidinNorthBurnaby

    “Journalism has performed so admirably in the aftermath of Trump’s victory …”
    Stopped reading at that point. Absolute horseshit. lol

    • Drunk by Noon ✓

      At first, I thought that was part of the joke.
      Maybe this is a meta joke. A joke that is greater than the comprehension of the author of this piece?

      • Malcolm Y

        Well it is a joke but I don’t think the author knows it.

    • David Murrell


  • Hard Little Machine

    Most journalism is glorified tabloid dreck. How many stories are predicated with words like ‘might’, ‘may’, ‘could’? Most of them actually. If you removed the question mark from use, MSNBC would lose 95% of its content. What they carry aren’t facts, they aren’t even opinions. They’re yelling.

  • Malcolm Y

    I haven’t read news going back many years but it seems that journalism today is using factual happenings to either tell you what to believe about something or to shame you, because they know what a sane person would believe, and they don’t want you to.

    Like today a left wing internet rag had an article on “How to think about Charlottesville” – honestly it should be “How to propagandize about Charlottesville”