January 26, 2019

"This week, as a long-predicted collapse seemed to hit digital media..."

"... we saw a few of the tried-and-true ways managers use to explain to employees why they’re laying them off. BuzzFeed chose the language of corporation-as-family, with founder Jonah Peretti telling staff that making the decision was 'upsetting and disappointing.' Verizon [HuffPost and Yahoo News] went with meaningless corporate-speak. 'Today marks a strategic step toward better execution of our plans for growth and innovation into the future,' a spokesperson said... As always, journalists’ Twitter timelines filled up with the names of the newly unemployed—wow, they let him go? the whole opinion team?—and the usual ominous comments on the precarity of the industry....  What became clear this week is that if the digital natives do survive, it might not have much to do with newsgathering, which both investors and advertisers have recently discovered an allergy to.... The tech platforms, with their advertising duopoly, can 'demonetize' videos that make people sad, and give brands the ability, which they increasingly take advantage of, to prevent their ads from appearing anywhere near political news. The old arrangement, where if you wanted your ads to reach Rolling Stone‘s prosperous young readers you had no choice but to subsidize Hunter Thompson calling the White House a den of thieves, did not survive the digital revolution...."

From "The digital winter turns apocalyptic" at Columbia Journalism Review, by Alex Pareene.
Alex Pareene is the politics editor of Splinter and the former editor of Gawker, Racket Teen, and Wonkette. He has been a columnist for Salon and written for publications including The Baffler and the (Minneapolis) Southside Pride.
Splinter? What is Splinter? I remember Alex Pareene from Wonkette. I took a photograph of him in another age, at this absurd CNN thing, putting bloggers in a place where we could be used as a visual on election night, 2006. Blogged here in "What happened last night?" Those were the days! Pareene seemed to be soaring. Blogging was so glamorous and almost dangerous that CNN wanted to consort with us and thought we made them look cool.

50 comments:

chickenlittle said...

Hate doesn't pay the bills -- except at CNN.

FullMoon said...

Why so many in one week? Is it some kind of tax thing?

Josephbleau said...

As I recall, Splinter is the zen leader of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Not Sure said...

Splinter is something that's utterly inconsequential unless you let it get under your skin.

Steve said...

Alex Pareene's solution seems to be to have government force ISPs to subsidize traditional news outlets. My ECON 101 prof would be appalled.

EDH said...

What became clear this week is that if the digital natives do survive...

Talk about disrespect: were any of them described as digital Native Elders by the media?

Jim at said...

Learn to code.

Birkel said...

Cue the world's tiniest violin.

And then send them all directions to the local community college where they can

Learn to Code.

https://www.wired.com/2015/11/can-you-teach-a-coal-miner-to-code/

Michael K said...

Google is now going to ban ad blockers on Chrome. That'll help. Good thing I quit using Chrome.

YoungHegelian said...

There's simply too much bad Lefty clickbait out there. It's targeted to at best about 35% of the population & that market is simply saturated with media outlets.

Where opinion journalism is flourishing is on youtube, where multiple interviewers all across the political spectrum now host incredibly long & detailed interviews with their guests. It's like the old Dick Cavett show on steroids.

Of course, the Stalinists want to shut it down, since anything they disagree with is by definition hate speech.

Quayle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
EDH said...

As always, journalists’ Twitter timelines filled up with the names of the newly unemployed—wow, they let him go? the whole opinion team?—and the usual ominous comments on the precarity of the industry.

"There's always barber college."

Quayle said...

Their hooks to catch eye-fish are getting smaller. The number of competing fishing lines with bait, overwhelming. The fish getting very picky.

The days of 'The people thinking what you tell them to think' are over. The market working as usual. The product was never the news, the viewer of the news was the product, delivered up by the publishers and broadcasters to the real paying customers, the sellers of products and services. (I guess they didn't teach that part in J-School. The sanctity of the fourth estate was the con-job of the 20th century. The journalists were the soothsayers - the conjurers of viewers and readers. )

Viva the freedom of the press! You can still publish what you want, but now at a low price unimagined in prior centuries, with a larger potential audience than could ever be delivered by a 20th century publisher, and without the controlling and meddlesome interference of the self-anointed gatekeepers!

It is a great day of the old power structures being thrown down!

cronus titan said...

Learn to code.

Isn't that what these Buzzfeed people told coal miners and others when Obama collapsed their industries? Yes. Yes it was.

Schadenfruede.

Angle-Dyne, Samurai Buzzard said...

Alex Pareene...that name does rings a bell, but only as an indistinct memory of some guy distinguished for being stupid and/or a real asshole, back in the early days of blogging...

JZ said...

“Precarity” isn’t a word. And get this: Autocorrect just changed “precarity” to “precarious” for me. So, it’s not easy to use “precarity” and yet, he did!

FIDO said...

Remarkable what happens when you label half the electorate as evil and deplorable. It is like they take that personally.

Ann Althouse said...

"“Precarity” isn’t a word."

That's what I thought until I looked it up.

rhhardin said...

Fear of mob action. Mobs appear on both the left and the right today; go anti-mob.

Mob shaming.

Ann Althouse said...

Historical examples from the OED:

1910 M. Cox Crowds & Veiled Woman xiii. 263 In proportion as Monsieur was certain, Gaspard was rendered more miserable through the delay that augmented its precarity.
1920 Bull. Russ. Information Bureau in U.S. 11 Sept. 4/2 Knowing the discontent of the population, the Bolsheviki feel the precarity of their position.
1952 Catholic Worker May 6/4 Precarity is an essential element of poverty.
1977 Compar. Politics 10 40 The electoral precarity of the SFIO was mirrored by the increasing weakness of the party machine itself.
1997 Gazette (Montreal) (Nexis) 8 Nov. b5 Among francophones, nationalists have focused on the inevitable precarity of the French language.
2017 A. Madanipour Cities in Time iii. 57 The ultimate expression of precarity is homelessness, which is widespread even in rich cities.

rhhardin said...

Anna Marie Cox was good, with her dropping into any article her love of wine and anal sex. It gave politics context.

walter said...

How many of these folks' last stories were boo-hooing about a temporary, partial, backpay guaranteed guvmint shutdown?

gilbar said...

walter said...
How many of these folks' last stories were boo-hooing about a temporary, partial, backpay guaranteed guvmint shutdown?

remember that one time? when your boss made you take a mandatory one month, Paid Vacation?
And you got all pissy about it? On account of because of the fact that you didn't get paid, until you got Back from the vacation?

Oh! here's one. Remember the 1980's? back when whenever you took a vacation; you had to wait until you got back to pick up your paycheck? On account of because of the fact that it was a REAL paper paycheck? And when you got back, you had to pick it up and take it to the bank and deposit it? And then wait until it cleared?

Henry said...

Think of this same article, but with the speeding car story headline:

Journalist who clung to the hood of Yahoo as it drove for miles up to 70 mph says, "He kept going fast, slow, fast, slow, to get me to slide off."

Original Mike said...

"What became clear this week is that if the digital natives do survive, it might not have much to do with newsgathering,"...

...which they couldn't find with two hands and a flashlight, ...

walter said...

gilbar,
In the 80's I was graduating high school, then paying for UW-Madison tuition and living expenses with a couple part time jobs.
So..things were a bit tighter than what these poor Feds are experiencing.
But imagine that..pay your way through college without loans or aid.
To be fair, we had no climbing walls.

Carol said...

I can remember about 15 years ago when people on the internet assumed everyone else on the blogosphere was young. Then it turned out everyone was old(er), because young people didn't have a lot to say. Not about politics anyway.

That's what this reminds me off. Buncha young people with nothing to say but a predictable template to work from.

Bo-ring.

alanc709 said...

If you think college costs are high now, wait till you see what happens in a few years when the demographics bomb explodes

Yancey Ward said...

They will have to fall back on their next best occupational talents- serving coffee and giving blowjobs.

Yancey Ward said...

Here is a hilarious take on this.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Learn to code

Then rent a u-haul to move out of their pathetic over-priced and over-taxed communities.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Here is a hilarious take on this.

Sniff. It just got mighty dusty in here.

Christopher said...

I wonder how the various media types must feel knowing that nobody is all that broken up that their industry is burning to the ground; hell, about 75% of the people actually paying attention are ready to piss on the ashes.

Anybody think that'll spark much self reflection in them?

chickenlittle said...

...digital media...

Middle digit media is what they are.

MadisonMan said...

I'm generally not happy when a person loses a job. That's tough on anyone.

I hope these writers have other marketable skills, or a backup plan. Never do one thing. I would say that's a lesson for today's economy. Diversity is the thing!

Gunner said...

Splinter is like a gayer Daily Kos.

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...

No one can make you read Buzzfeed at the airport.

Original Mike said...

"I wonder how the various media types must feel knowing that nobody is all that broken up that their industry is burning to the ground; hell, about 75% of the people actually paying attention are ready to piss on the ashes."

Piss on the ashes? No! Don't put it out!

anti-de Sitter space said...

""I wonder how the various media types must feel knowing that nobody is all that broken up that their industry is burning to the ground; hell, about 75% of the people actually paying attention are ready to piss on the ashes."

Piss on the ashes? No! Don't put it out!"




Yes! The cons have finally one the big won, the lib media industry is burnt to the ground.


Anywho, con radio numbers are great, too!


Carry on.

anti-de Sitter space said...

Alt universes re reality re this universe are funny.

IMHO.

Michael Fitzgerald said...

Madison Man@5:14PM Declares that he is generally not happy when a person loses a job.... Yeah, sure, me too, except in the case when that person is an Anti-American racist sexist asshole and vicious bigot dedicated to empowering Democrat party members and their despicable criminal enterprises. Lots of fucking America-hating pieces of Democrat party shit lost their jobs slandering and attacking non-democratic party members this week. That really helped. Thank you, President Trump.

Lulz, I write "president" and fucking autocorrect prompts with "Obama". Fuck you, autocorrect, you're next. Learn to code! ... fucking Obama, JFC, fuck you Google...

chuck said...

Ah, climate change. Winter is coming.

Simon Kenton said...

My father was at the same place for 37 years. They liked him, moved him through different assignments to keep him challenged and to get his insight. Good, inflation adjusted pension.

When I was thinking out life-rules for my children, I taught them this:

To employers you are kleenex. They jack off into you, and toss you into the wastebasket. It follows you develop as many skills as you can, learn to take care of all ordinary life tasks, and start saving and investing as much as you can as early as you can.

So they have. They are fine. I wonder what the fathers of the new-to-the-wastebasket still damp and not yet crusted digerati taught them? Your opinions, no matter how shallow or unthought, are so precious the world will shower you with money just to keep your keyboard blazing? Don't worry about snow-flaking out because the government will want to give you enough money to keep you in the style to which you have become accustomed? You can go straight from digibabble to running general motors in receivership or to crafting foreign policy for a great nation?

Probably in an operational sense they didn't have fathers.

Annie said...

Can't link it on the device I'm on, but Big Media - Verizon, etc., is in the process of replacing them for H1B visa workers for a lot less $$. Editors, tech, copy. Couldn't happen to a more deserving bunch as I don't think they realize what is happening. Very few outlets are reporting it. You will only find positive stories on how immigrants are the backbone of the industry -- because that is what Big Media will allow to be written.

Annie said...

And the 'learn to code' advice? Yeah, those jobs are going to foreigners too. They can have 3 or 4 Indian workers for the price of one American worker.

Rusty said...

Blogger MadisonMan said...
"I'm generally not happy when a person loses a job. That's tough on anyone.

I hope these writers have other marketable skills, or a backup plan. Never do one thing. I would say that's a lesson for today's economy. Diversity is the thing!"

My father insisted that we all went to college. He also insisted we all learn a trade.And what Simon said(lol).
My youngest daughter will graduate withe a BFA, but she can also gas weld and and mig weld.

Jim at said...

And the 'learn to code' advice? Yeah, those jobs are going to foreigners too. They can have 3 or 4 Indian workers for the price of one American worker.

Yes. But that's what these smug, little assholes told the coal miners to do when Obama promised to shut down that industry.

They deserve everything that's coming to them.

John Lynch said...

Two things stuck out for me from the article:

"As CNN reported, “the media industry lost about 1,000 jobs nationwide this week.” The national economy, meantime, is operating at close to full employment."

Maybe that's a sign, you idiots.

And:

"The platforms will have to be regulated and subsidies squeezed out of carriers. That is assuming, of course, that we want to save journalism from this cycle of consolidation and downsizing."

No, screw you, I'm not paying to subsidize "news" writers who hate me and shit on everything I care about.

If you aren't producing enough value to put up a paywall and make money doing it, you deserve to go broke. The Wall Street Journal is doing fine. I'm happy to pay for news sources which actually report the news. I'm not willing to pay for an opinion I can get anywhere.

Two Deg said...

They should learn to code.

chickenlittle said...

Being paid just to diss Trump is not really an honest living anyways, so these people need to move on.