It seems to me that Arrington does not realise that managing coders is not the same as managing journos on a blog. Maybe writers can churn and churn while working miserable hours for years on end. It does not work that way in coding. One hour of coding without thinking carefully can have a large negative contribution to your company's ability to meet its goals, by way of causing bad architectural decisions, bugs, and/or downtime.
I highly doubt writers can work the same way. Anyone doing any type of creative work needs these types of breaks. Similarly, one article published without adequate editing/fact-checking can do wonders to destroy the credibility of a blog...
To be fair, newspapers aren't written for experts. That doesn't excuse a lot of crap from newspapers, but they're writing for an audience that isn't necessarily well-versed in all the subjects, for better or worse.
I don't think he's referring to the fact that newspapers aren't written for an expert audience. I think he's referring to their routine inaccuracies and errors. That's what I get from it, being a expert who's cringed at quite a few press articles.
The errors aren't acceptable, but the inaccuracies are almost always because reporters try to dumb down a concept so much, that the concept loses all nuance. It's basically if Simple English Wikipedia were the norm.
From experience creative writing (IE Fiction, journal-columns (life blogging), reviews, even a lot of non-fiction) are hard to force. It takes a lot of breaks and 'spur of the moment' events to the point I use my iPhone for writing so when I get that urge it doesn't matter if I'm on lunch at my day job or waiting at a bus stop, or as often the case, on the toilet.
Newspaper journalism I believe can be forced. IMO it's like high school essay writing, you find your source and you just learn to churn. With some newspapers this can be so bad that you notice the 'filler' attempts where about 2/3 of the way through they go into "summary" mode and simply pad the ending of the article with the exact same info they had in the first 1/3.
By 'from experience' I mean I've worked as a reviewer, I've got my own personal blog (one of my pieces actually hit the front page of HN back in the 1Q of 2011 IIRC, and a few have popped up other places) and I'm now pushing through for a novel - I've had one short story published and a lot of editor comments (which is great, I've never received a form rejection letter, even from places that are notorious for them; my problem is that with a short story I see little point of struggling to edit it on the chance someone might say yes, when I might as well learn my mistake and write something else because there's always the chance a story will grab an editor and they'll say 'hell, I can fix the mistakes' - and having worked as a reviewer I trust editors to fix problems I don't know are problems)
Like the guy who posted the automated sports writer, it's not difficult to take the stats and say "Campbell scored a last minute goal winning the game" when campbell was the last person to score and it happened in the last minute of play. It's merely filtering data and rewriting a standard comment.
It's not far from news of a house fire: did the house burn down? yes/no; if no make 'devastating' comment. was people caught inside? yes/no; if yes did they survive? yes/no; if no make 'tragedy' comment; if yes did they escape? yes/no; if yes make 'valiant escape' comment / if no make 'heroic rescue' comment.
It's quite different when you have to write 200 words from a basic formula with 20 keywords, compared to writing 80,000 words from a basic formula with 20 keywords. Yes Star Wars and Harry Potter might have same basic principles (orphan, living with aunt and uncle, special powers, special connection to main antagonist). However, I'm never failed to be amused when someone says it's unoriginal or a rip off, but those same people will read article after article on their sports teams and not think it's ripped off when the articles a probably written by an intern in a coat closet switching words on a template. But simply Vader being or not being Luke's father would have made a major story diversion (IE Luke wouldn't have gone to Endor to confront his father, Vader wouldn't have turned good and killed the emperor, etc.)