The web media layoffs remind us that there is no money in virtue signaling. Major media will get back to real news. The ‘fakeout’ caused by companies like Vice and Buzzfeed will retract and the CBS/ABC/NBCs of the world will realize ‘woke’ culture and uber-progressivism won’t pay the bills. People want the news, not preaching. Companies like Buzzfeed (hungry for a merger) are still upside down on cost structure and will go bankrupt. Startups, such as Gawker’s latest iteration, actually have a risk of imploding on their own smug, before they prove they’re not viable businesses, either. More 20-somethings will realize that their calling of ‘speaking truth to power’ (by trying to usurp power itself) is a distant second to operating profit. No operating profit, no whining about the benefits of socialism, sorry.
The reality is that these news outlets abandoned their stakeholders and instead decided to push an agenda for a myopic few. The reality is that these news outlets should be seeking truth and not pushing an agenda. Truth will always build you wider coalition and thus profits will ensue.
Sure they can exist, but they shouldn't occupy the entire mainstream landscape unless the entire population is on board with those convictions.
The claim that news can be unbiased is silly as all news has to be reported through a lens. The claim that news media has a "liberal bias" is a long standing conservative talking point going back to the 1970s where news media was listed as slightly liberal and then everyone ignored the follow that showed that media had self corrected based on the report.
Claiming that there's a "liberal news problem" just points out that conservatives don't like that "their President" is getting "unfairly attacked" by the media. This completely ignores that conservative media frequently runs literal conspiracy theories that have led to real life shootings with little regard to the outcome.
The point being that claiming that there's some grand liberal conspiracy ignores the fact that most of the news organizations OP cited will actually issue corrections. Fox news rarely issues them and most other mainstream conservative commentators never do because they claim they are "infotainment".
You’re plenty spot on within the entire media world.
Ads are probably the main source now, but subscriptions are still a main source as well.
In some cases investments in production tools or systems or even original creations can be a boon.
Actual percentages would vary amongst publishers
There are currently backs accross the board, but on the outside it's hard to say if those are seasonal or not.
Another posted suggested that they have hired at disproportionally large numbers. Seems like a plausible explanation, if true.
May be it related to some political changes.
Or, may be,
there is an unseen 'consolidation' that will commence
(layoffs in tech industry, often precedes takeovers).
Just speculating, though.
I definitely feel, that people will not pay for opinion pieces, but will pay for investigative journalism.
However, investigative journalism, in my view, lacks economic model.
It is quite resource intensive, but there is no 'story origination fee' of some sort. So it has to live of donations, which could make it very biased.
- it's the start of a new year. New budgets. Plus laying people off just before the holidays is a baaaad look.
- it's a lot easier to do this when lots of other outlets are doing it too, because you'll get less attention
- all these companies rely on advertising for revenue, often from the exact same sources. So any softening in ad prices would affect a lot of people at once.
- this is actually the latest in a long, long line of media layoffs and redundancies
I think video functions as a much better format for investigative reporting though - it is much more engaging, slightly more trustworthy (because you don’t have to e.g. trust the journalist’s description of tone / body language, although selective editing can still be done), and harder for other media outlets that haven’t done the investigative legwork to just copy and redistribute.
First: I'm sure there are "good free bloggers" out there, but there's far, far fewer that aren't associated with new media companies now than there were a decade ago. Making money as an independent blogger is exceedingly difficult in 2019 in a way that just wasn't as true in 2009.
Second: McClatchy, BuzzFeed, and Vice are all known for investigative journalism, not opinion pieces. McClatchy was once considered one of the best newspaper companies in the business, primarily based on investigative work; while Vice and BuzzFeed certainly are known for clickbait material, they've both been funding serious news stories for years. "Free bloggers" just aren't competition in this space.
Third: You know that BuzzFeed in particular is in the straits that they're in because they tried to pivot to video, right? Mashable is nearly out of business because of their attempt to do so. Also, investigative journalism tends to rely on, well, investigation, not "descriptions of tone and body language."
Fourth: there is, in fact, a really good way to support investigative journalism. It's--you know what I'm going to say, right?--paying for it. It turns out that an awful lot of newspapers, magazines, and journalism web sites have mechanisms set up that enable you to give them money, often on a recurring basis!
The money was never spent as of less than a year ago. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/04/world/europe/state-depart...
President trump’s administration controlled the spending of these funds and clearly they weren’t very eager to do so.
I don't even mind that your NYT article doesn't seem to be about the NDAA signing that moved $160 , not $120 million to fight disinformation. Are you sure you that is the same topic?
 Two years at $80 million each https://www.congress.gov/114/crpt/hrpt840/CRPT-114hrpt840.pd...
I didn’t “silence” you I responded with facts. It’s fine to share a conspiracy theory for discussion/analysis IMO but it should always at least be accompanied with the facts so that people are not tricked into believing the fake news.
Sharing it without a debunking, despite a disclaimer that you don’t believe it, makes your disclaimer less than credible in many cases.
Ideas survive only because they're shared. Bad ideas are those that survive in spite of reasonable criticisms.
I want to see good quality reporting, and I don't want them to try to inject their selective editing/political agenda in it.
But, of course, it's funny how this complaint truly surfaces when those biases are ones that the complainant does not like. It's interesting how biases that do not challenge the majority intersection of "affluent, white, male" get so much leash in places like HN.
Want more evidence that this is total bullshit? My comment below calling this out was flagged. Yours, which originated the flamebait topic, was not.
Tell me again how much "leash" the affluent white male bias gets on this board.
What's funny is your obliviousness.
News should strive for objectivity. But all news organizations need to make decisions. What do they include or omit from a story? What do they think is necessary to explain versus what the audience will already know? How do you present complex issues without veering into technical jargon most readers can't understand? Which photo and headline do they choose to go with the story?
These are subjective decisions all journalists and editors need to make.
“Bias” as a generalized complaint is effectively a straw man to beat up when debating the actual facts would be untenable, or make you looks like an asshole. If you think that isn’t obvious, think again.
Which is why it's usually the high-handed rationalist, the claimant of no bias, who is trying to sell you a pig in a poke. They either don't know it's just /r/iamverysmart stuff or don't care, but they're selling you something. Not the reporter with a story on their hands who admits to having an opinion.
Now we are hearing excuses (including in this thread) which are nothing more than cheap cop-outs, they are rationalizing their own acquiescence or surrender to intellectual laziness, logical fallacy, ignorance, and social irresponsibility. The fact is this lowering of standards is very useful for some people, and provides wiggle room to dishonest liars and frauds who would otherwise not be trusted, should be obvious.
Yes, one's senses are limited, one's knowledge is limited, and while investigating a story you are likely going to hear different versions from every witness to whom you speak. But what do you say to those who refuse to listen to contradicting yet valid information and/or viewpoints?
There is a large gap between those who are engaged in the pursuit of objective truth who nonetheless fail, and those who have their excuses loaded up while they tirelessly work to build consensus around what has become a narrative for a completely false reality. We are starting to see a bias against objective truth, a prevalence of defense mechanisms against logic and reason, and more and more demands for "allegiance" or "belief" in a given agenda-based narrative.
With more differing points of view intermingling than ever before, giving in to bias has never been more dangerous.
tldr: Just because its hard doesn't mean its not an important pursuit, much less take it as an excuse to accept the defeat of lowered standards or actual fraud for our perception of reality.
This seems like a false dichotomy to me. Surely there will always be some bias, and it will affect all the editorial decisions made by an organization and change the way topics are reported by journalists. However, just because bias can't be entirely eliminated, doesn't mean that there aren't objective standards of what constitutes minimally fair reporting. There are such standards; clearly discussing and defending these standards is an important goal.
It's for this reason that we can say that Reuters is a better, more objective source of news than the Huffington Post. And the latter is a better, more objective source of news than Breitbart. We can take such a position, and encourage others to seek out sources like Reuters, without taking the extreme position that Reuters is this fully unbiased magical source of objective news. Of course it isn't, but it doesn't have to be.
Bovine excrement and worse words. It is not an opinion that has been normalized. It is an acknowledgement of reality, of the lack of objective observers in any field not directly measurable with a pair of calipers--and it is a reality that people of certain epistemic closures wish to attack because that reality threatens those epistemic closures and the goals they wish to achieve with them.
Usually venal goals. But I digress.
So yeah, it's worse than not nonsense, at least for your argument: it's history. It's reality. News is not and has not ever been objective at any point you will name. Setting aside any reporting at all? At the absolute minimum, the most trusted names in news at any point in mass media have been selective in what they reported through that mass media apparatus and that is itself bias. Meanwhile? You have people the "unbiased news!" folks want to point at, like Walter Cronkite, who directly formed Americans' opinion on the Vietnam War by declaring it a "stalemate". No "unbiased news" would say that; they'd just say "well, this is happening". But to not characterize the state of the conflict would itself mislead those consuming that news. "Unbiased news" is the box score and nothing more and it's a superficial and broken way of viewing the world.
Meat robots get by on the box score. Thinking creatures require context and no context will ever, ever be unbiased. Analysis--filtering, concluding, fact-checking--is part of news. And it cannot be separated from an attention economy either personal or societal.
I'm sorry that that upsets you so, but only a little.
Chic fa la has now just gotten in trouble for not letting someone use their bathroom.
Insert other witnesses or talk about 2nd parties in the story.
Chickfla is the group that came under contrivesery for supporting anti gay charities.
Look for that you'll see it in a lot of stories. I started noticing that when I saw the Milo stories on the BBC. They like to harp on something that he did (usually it's something that the writer doesn't like), they'll also inflate the second party members in the story [who was surrounding it] to their liking (we'll the SPLC said this and that), and then they'll try to bring a call back to something that'll make the person look bad and unrelated (i.e. prior controversy).
Like/dislike the guy, the selective journalism/editing and the unrelated call back is: unproductive, dishonest, and is propaganda.
> But, of course, it's funny how this complaint truly surfaces when those biases are ones that the complainant does not like. It's interesting how biases that do not challenge the majority intersection of "affluent, white, male" get so much leash in places like HN.
I think you should point that out if it's a legitimate concern. (I mean not concern trolling i.e. "well all the interviewed was white people" vs "from the people they interviewed were white and se engineers which is a concern when talking about COL")
No, it's context. You cannot reduce political action--and "political action" should be understood as any action between people or groups, there is no light switch to turn it off or on--to a single-shot prisoner's dilemma game. The game is infinite. Your history matters. The context of your actions in the body politic matters.
News organizations have a duty to place events into context, and...this is that context.
Different unrelated events aren't context.
Then I grew up, then I realized I was being shitty, and I stopped. And since I have made a point of standing up for the right things, instead, while not ducking that I too have been shitty.
That's more context, and that context, eventually and with hard work, does balance the scales.
It just isn't that complicated.
- kickstarter for investigative journalism. Get decent writers, get people that are willing to pay to hear about what they find, and hope they maintain ethics and integrity.
- a monthly news source, that is focused on "slow news". Sure, XYZ happened, 30 days later, what's relevant. 3 months later, what was the overall trend? It's not meta, but definitely "slow" and the goal is to focus on the moving average vs the noisy data.
That's been done multiple times, mostly recently with Civil, which combines freelance journalism with the blockchain! https://civil.co/
Almost all of them fail due to salary costs. https://www.coindesk.com/civil-startup-token-crypto-ethereum
There's nothing new under the sun. Well back to the drawing board...
That's a newspaper subscription
> a monthly news source, that is focused on "slow news"
That's a magazine
Sometimes the tech industry bubble produces hilarious comments...
The NYT is suuuuuuuper biased. I want liberal freedoms to be allowed to people, but they are pushing an agenda. Really strong.
I don't want to subsidize the stories I don't care about. That's the difference. Why should we?
The New Yorker is a little better, but it's still "people" focused. I want more macro views.
I tried WSJ and Financial Times. Both suffered a bit from "fluff" and I wasn't going to give them $300/yr to feel like I was paying for filler.
I'm sad that you think I'm incapable of appreciating newspapers or magazines. I just think that both of those concepts are failing. What's the future look like?
> I don't want to subsidize the stories I don't care about.
You, as the chooser (or editor) of stories are introducing bias already, before any reporting is done.
- The Atlantic
- Wired still does great long form
- Bloomberg Businessweek does as well
- Help me out people...
- the Walrus
- Taddle Creek
The concepts aren’t failing. They still inspire lengthy discussions and awareness on a wide range of subjects. And they’re available in multiple forms- paper, web, and other digital subscriptions like in house apps or Google or Apple News
Good reporting costs money. A lot of money.
Also, don't confuse our prevailing normative social biases with a 'lack of bias'.
-  https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/huffington-post-shut...
It's been almost a decade since I last looked at HuffPost, but what original reporting do they do? Back in those days, it was all opinion pieces, or piggybacking on other's original reporting.
If they don't do any original reporting, then dropping the opinion section doesn't contradict anything.
Not to be too contrarian or tin-foil-y, but this is a bit simplistic view of modern advertising platforms.
These companies absolutely have troves of information about you, even if you've never interacted with them directly. Your social circle indirectly shares information about you, retailers share information about you, etc. Regardless of whether you use a platform like Facebook, it has a profile of who you are.
Saying you're not forced to use their services or devices is only trivially true: Sure, you're not forced to use it directly, but you might as well be given that they're collecting your information regardless.
And sure, you're not forced to buy from retailers who share your information or have acquaintances that use Gmail, but it's in the same way that you're not forced to buy produce that Monsanto has touched in some way - basically, good luck.
Edit: we've asked you repeatedly not to post ideological flamebait to HN. If you keep doing it, we will ban you.
As to the actual claims: the first article you posted includes a tweet that has many examples of articles which emphasize how the "heartland" can switch to coding as a viable alternative to coal mining and the like. The issue is that there is an underlying implication in those articles that such skills can be learned and applied by coal miners at large. But many / most coal miners probably aren't suited to being coders. Just like many journos are not suited to being coders.
These articles did not say, "Hey why don't these guys just learn to code." The articles say, "Hey, there is an effort on the ground to teach unemployed blue collar workers some technical skills. Will this work, we don't know yet. But it interesting and worth reporting on."
The other comment is clearly a misreading of what I wrote. I never said journalists have killed themselves from this harassment. I said the goal of this harassment was to make the journalists lives so miserable that they want to kill themselves. Feel free to take a trip in to /pol/ and check for yourself what the sentiment is but here are a couple quotes from the articles I linked that demonstrate that.
“I’m not ready to declare victory until these maggots are killing themselves with a live stream”
"Making them a hero is goal anon :)"
Please quit pretending like this is some harmless game. Be bold and take a real stand. This isn't about teaching journalists a lesson for being flippant about the problems of blue-collar workers.
If it were, why are they targeting journalists who didn't write articles about coal miners learning to code.
And furthermore, why does this rest on easily disprovable claim that the articles were somehow prescriptive in nature, and not simply reporting on experiments underway in some of these communities?
For example, Taila Lavin, the author of the New Republic article never wrote anything about miners or any other blue collar workers learning to code. If this was about punishing people who were dismissive of blue collar workers, why target her? Clearly that's not the goal. The goal is to target journalists as a group, regardless of what they have written.
If you believe journalism is not a worthwhile profession, and people who write things that don't align with your personal belief system should just shut up or face harassment, why don't you just come out an say it? Why hide behind code words like this?
Hidden Brain had a good podcast episode on the costs of newspapers going out of business.
Unless you're a shady person, then it's all good news :(
I assume their clickbait subsidizes their investigative journalism, a business model that gives me hope given the importance of investigative journalism. Unfortunately that hope is tempered by the recent round of layoffs.
The main downside of first round is explaining why you were in the first round.
What the layoffs may mean for the future of journalism (McClatchy being a solid source of good journalism) doesn't give me a good feeling.
Downvotes and flags are usually sufficient to convey the latter anyhow (as above).
edit: I said "If I go by." I didn't say it was the case. It's a non-judgmental observation.
Did they? I haven't seen any statistics.
Do you routinely ask people to go and collect data for casual observations? I don't know why this one has people so up in arms when they happen all the time here at HN.