Pretty much any sentence of that piece could be spun off into an individual post on techcrunch &c. Spread your insight over a dozen blog-posts, and you get far more ad revenue
The New Yorker, on the other hand, gets the very best writers and gives them massive amounts of time to write a very small amount of text. So when you read, say, an article by Seymour Hersh, you know he's spent anywhere up to 6 months working on it.
One may get the best of both worlds if one could, like, click on those pieces of text. That would be awesome. We could call it "hypertext"...
The bottomline is that we've been stuck with the same issue for the past 10+ years: bloggers don't have the writing/journalistic skills, and MSM refuses to take advantage of the technology. And we'll have to make do with two types of half-assed products, piecing them together ourselves (with the help of sites like HN) to get the whole picture.
No wonder no one is willing to pay for content.
While I can't provide huge amounts of detail, some TV stations are seeing the writing on the wall. I've spoken with one in particular who realizes that a) NBC/CBS/ABC is going to become a cable / internet network at some point, leaving the local station that much more time to fill. Also b) most people aren't turning to TV news, except in extraordinary cases where it fills a real need. (TRUE breaking news, think 9/11, local standoffs, fires, earthquakes, etc.)
They're talking about giving reporters 2 days to do 1 story. Each story is double or triple the length, and hopefully even more times the quality of the traditional 1:30 package. They're hoping the quality of the story can be spread via Facebook / the internet, and then have people come back and watch the newscast because it's a place to find out about quality things happening in their community.
The current problem? The news staff doesn't want to do that. They want to stay on their current course.
These signs point to a new hybrid form of journalism that excites me. A longer, in-depth story where appropriate, but also the bite-sized chunks which blogs have somewhat perfected.
Will it work perfectly? Not tomorrow. I'm confident, however, that it will work at some point in the future.
Anyone else who reads HN and who's looking at solving the same problem should get in contact with me. I want to talk to smart folks about the future of journalism. My specific slant is the video part, but I'd love to hear from smart folks thinking about all angles.
It's something HNers and a small subset of news consumers want, but not the general public. They want to be entertained, even while watching "the news."
Normal people never want something to be "longer" and more "in-depth." That's a niche.
Who says entertainment and quality have to be mutually exclusive? I don't. I think the counterpoint to this is what got us in this situation where people are turning off the tube en masse.
Also, good writers like Ken Auletta are expensive.
Techcrunch couldn't justify this style of writing for every post, though it does have Lacy, Carr, Gilmore et al as high-level editorial
Yes, but they can't touch Auletta or Hersh. Not even in the same universe. TC, Mashable et. al. are out for maximum ad impressions and that's why churning out weak gruel is part of their mission.
Sidenote - I'm starting to see a major increase to the frontpage of HN in such related articles (and consequently the number of comments to those articles). STOP UPVOTING THIS SHIT.
Sorry for language and caps.
If you eliminate all of these functions and just let a few official sources fill the news-hole, it is not as though non-objective analysis will disappear. Far from it. Instead, all non-objective but authoritative-sounding analysis will come only from those with the greatest economic and political power. In short, you will have a fascist propaganda machine.
(There is constant rebellion against the tendency of the press to enrich its pockets by turning away from the wild speculation and radical analysis. Uh... Hunter Thompson was one symptom of that rebellion a few years back. More recently, I suppose that the "right wing talk radio" crowd is another symptom of the same tendency to rebel against simply receiving truths and their interpretation from the powers that be. Tech is a microcosm different in topic, not kind from the general field of national news reporting: people fight over which facts to highlight and how to interpret them. Some reporters are supposed to be in there slugging it out.)
Example from the most recent article currently on the PH site:
What do U think??
Freelance tech journalism, this ain't.
TechCrunch is the new medium (Blogging) with a rough journalism slant.
There is a real life comparison too; TechCrunch is like the tabloid papers - they have all the content, plus the biases and the speculation and a bit of trash. The New Yorker content is like the Business dailys - curt, to the point, aimed at people who want to know the facts, plus sensible analysis from people who understand the context in detail (and are writing from academic interest as much as commercial).
The fact that this style of journalism is considered "traditional" is itself quite lamentable.
The New York Times was such an upstart in it's day with it's revolutionary notion of impartial reporting.
No, the dollar value of good editing and journalism as currently packaged and distributed in public is currently in decline. I am sure that there are hundreds of executives scattered across the globe who each just arranged for someone else to compose a report that thousands or even hundreds of thousands of other people would indeed want to read or at least know the contents of.
All that high quality content and the likes of TechCrunch are crushing them one "Twitter is down" post after another.
It's true that there are lots of other magazines which sell many more copies; I'm just suggesting that they appear to have a lot of headroom in terms of "having a big enough market to be a profitable business."
Also, the other post sort of on the topic simply includes the author's account of development of the story, about how he was going to break it beforehand. Similarly, it's pretty straightforward without a lot of unnecessary fluff. It's here: http://techcrunch.com/2011/01/20/techcrunch-interview-with-e...
I guess I'm what you'd call a "classically trained" journalist. So maybe I'm just feeling a little pretentious or annoyed at the state of things out here. But 99 percent of the time it feels like people are too damn lazy to pick up the phone and call their sources — or even shoot them an email and ask for a quick comment. I almost fell into that trap when I first joined the technorati out here but have since reverted to my own personal instincts of actually talking to people for stories (I know, what a concept, right?)
For a new face in silicon valley it's honestly extremely discouraging and frustrating — not only seeing it in other blogs but from my co-workers from time to time at VentureBeat as well. It's even more discouraging to be encouraged by my editors from time to time to simply bust out a story without any additional reporting. I feel pretty proud that I have not done a straight reblog without additional reporting in more than a month when it's merited.
Naturally, some stories don't demand that kind of additional reporting. So there's a place for analysis, commentary, and the like. I'll be damned if I end up as an MG Siegler-type reporter that injects opinion/praise/vitriol in every single article I write, though. I don't really see that opinion changing any time soon, either.
(Edit for quick background: former Reuters reporter, graduated in 2010.)
Turns out that guy isn't a reporter, he's a blogger. That's why TC is light on journalism, analysis, and cogent commentary.
People would be cautious and skeptical if these exact words were posted on TechCrunch. Instead, we're hearing how awesome and correct this article must be because it's posted on newyorker.com.
The other side to your argument is, yes, the New Yorker byline does make Kottke think it's "correct". It does the same thing for most people, probably including you. It probably is correct. You said it yourself: credibility is important. TechCrunch has done a lot of stuff to burn credibility instead of building it.
I read the post and wonder how much of this is true (if "correct" is too alarming a word). How objective is Auletta about Schmidt? How reliable are the unnamed "associates" whose mention thrilled Kottke?
I don't have an opinion about whether this post is accurate because I don't have enough information to make that judgement. This post doesn't provide that information, and I haven't happened to read Auletta's book, or even any reviews or criticism of his book.
I don't dismiss it like I would anything remotely questionable from TechCrunch, but I also don't buy in because of the brand in this case. I see Kottke and people in these comments making firm declarations of confidence based on, according to them, some clean prose and a brand name.
I'd really go further and say that many of the reactions here have a lot more with Kottke's framing than even anything to do with The New Yorker, if the relative dearth of comments and adoration on the thread about the writer's actual post at http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2127876 is anything to go by.
As I write this, not much at all there about how awesome, well-written, and insightful those three paragraphs are.
And to more directly respond: not really. This blog post could be utterly wrong and, absent someone screaming bloody murder enough to embarrass The New Yorker, not affect their reputation one iota.
These things are aggregate in nature. In the specific, things aren't so harmonious. Mistakes get made; Pulitzers get awarded to frauds.
That's why I get dismayed at people turning off their brains and pointing to reputation.
Except that if it were utterly wrong, somebody would scream bloody murder, and it would affect their reputation. Perhaps not overnight, but these sorts of things add up in the long run. This is exactly why TC is held in such low regard around here.
Huh? The only sentiment I see being expressed here is: "Because they have professional writers, editors, and fact checkers, I trust the New Yorker more than TechCrunch." Not sure where you're getting the impression anyone is "turning off their brains and pointing to reputation"
You seem to think that people are applauding the New Yorker for being the New Yorker. They aren't. They are applauding the New Yorker for not being TC or Mashable.
If you're wondering at a higher level why this is so, the simple answer is that almost all modern journalism is ad supported. Attracting eyeballs matters for the bottom line, how much people value or even believe what you report is irrelevant as long as you can mantain viewership.
Even if journalism is far from objective, I think people are good at making inferences as to what really happened in the articles they read (at least in this crowd).
It's not that article size or letter count matters to all of us. I just want to get informed the right things. No long history telling, cause mostly I know it cause I hang around in this area everyday and for more I have Wikipedia. No long opinions and suggestions, cause most time I don't care or I disagree. No long mambo-cambo which let's me ask "Wait. What did I just read".
More of those short, quality and informing articles please.
In this case, the article is purely factual, so it's also short. If the editor has some pages to fill, he wants it long, and to pad out the article, a journalist will fill it with fluff opinions and emotional statements.
the cited article contains nothing to read, i think the same: google has issues, the leadership changes, nothing strange. sure i'm glad that people say (and print) the same, but sometimes it's interesting to read some contrary, longer or personalized blog post.
and, techcrunch lets me be closer to the Valley while being far overseas
for example, the comments to the posts of my beloved Alexia Tsotsis are of a certain colour! which says much about the microcosm
That's why, imho, blogs can never replace real publications. Pick up The Economist or The New Yorker and you still get a lot of added value and insight, even if the events happened days earlier.
You obviously missed the Tina Brown years.
The New Yorker has always covered a wide variety of topics; it's eclecticism is part of its charm.