media

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Adults in the room.

A metastasizing swath of media is controlled by private-equity vultures and capricious billionaires and other people who genuinely believe that they are rich because they are smart and that they are smart because they are rich, and that anyone less rich is by definition less smart. They know what they know, and they don’t need to know anything else.

Megan Greenwell says goodbye.

Greenwell is the now-former editor-in-chief of Deadspin, and this is basically her goodbye-and-fuck-you letter to the private equity company that bought it out… and proceeded to try and institute a “stop writing all these silly politics stories and just focus on sports clickbait!” editorial policy.

2019-08-26T14:29:51+10:0013th December, 2019|Tags: media|

The pan.

A look at the “art” of negative reviews.

This is… interesting, but since it’s working in a primarily professional-reviewers-versus-big-media, I think it… misses a big chunk of the conversation around smaller and independent creators. Even still…

2019-02-07T13:15:38+11:0023rd July, 2019|Tags: media, pop culture|

Newsphobia.

As an industry, the media specializes in the worldwide production of audiences. The artifacts of this industry have become our common culture, and this is why we worry about the effects of the media. Journalism is something different. It is a social practice essential to a democracy— and democracy is more than mere openness. What journalism produces is not an audience, but a public, and we should worry when journalism fails to have this effect on us.

[…]

What’s confusing is that both the media and journalism have an interest in news. But the media sees news as low-cost material— a cheap way to engage us in the moment. The purpose of journalism is to engage us, not in the moment, but in the present— especially the political present. Journalism falters when it loses its authority over the present, it’s ability to engage us in the public world as it presently stands.

Jay Rosen on journalism vs. the media.

This is the text of a lecture Rosen gave in 1993, of all things (the internet didn’t even exist in ’93!), but it remains startlingly and terrifyingly relevant.

2018-02-01T08:02:16+11:0019th July, 2018|Tags: culture, media, newsphobia|

Democracy dies in light.

The most effective forms of censorship today involve meddling with trust and attention, not muzzling speech itself. As a result, they don’t look much like the old forms of censorship at all. They look like viral or coordinated harassment campaigns, which harness the dynamics of viral outrage to impose an unbearable and disproportionate cost on the act of speaking out. They look like epidemics of disinformation, meant to undercut the credibility of valid information sources. They look like bot-fueled campaigns of trolling and distraction, or piecemeal leaks of hacked materials, meant to swamp the attention of traditional media.

These tactics usually don’t break any laws or set off any First Amendment alarm bells. But they all serve the same purpose that the old forms of censorship did: They are the best available tools to stop ideas from spreading and gaining purchase.

Zeynep Tufekci on the new censorship.

2018-02-01T07:24:28+11:0017th July, 2018|Tags: culture, media, politics|

Don’t mention the dick.

How the media describe “groin injuries“.

I admit I get confused about the term “groin injuries”, since I’m never sure if it means “kicked in the nuts” or something like “sprained some kind of inner thigh muscle”. I guess it doesn’t matter that much, but it’s only just occurred to me that I’ve probably spent my entire life imagining the wrong thing every time I’ve heard this phrase. Go figure.

2017-07-17T11:43:16+10:0010th January, 2017|Tags: media|

No way to make a living.

The ironic thing is that the Internet and the social web were supposed to allow anyone to become a media entity in their own right, and they have done that in spades—but no one said anything about them providing a way to make a living.

–Mathew Ingram on online media.

2019-07-31T09:28:57+10:0028th July, 2015|Tags: business, media, writing|

Access or accountability.

For all that the term “ethics in games journalism” is a huge joke, there are some people out there who write decent Really For Realz articles about it. UnSubject is one of said people, and his take on the difference beteween access and accountability journalism is definitely worth a read.

2018-11-26T08:07:11+11:0029th March, 2015|Tags: gaming, media|

Eveyrthing you know is wrong.

What percentage of teens in your country do you think give birth every year? How about what percentage of the population is Christian versus what percentage is Muslim? How about unemployment? Life expectancy? Voter turnout?

Well. Apparently a market research firm in the UK decided to as a bunch of these questions to a variety of people across several countries… then compared the answers they got to the actual statistics. The results are, um. Illuminating, shall we say.

2017-07-17T11:09:13+10:0026th December, 2014|Tags: media|

Business model.

The world of online media doesn’t have the twin pillars of a subscriber base and advertisers to fall back on when it comes time to pull in income. That has always been the case with print media, which is one reason boycotts of the New York Times or Washington Post’s advertisers are generally ineffective.

Online media, by contrast, has to rely almost solely on advertisers to pay employees’ salaries, which means that when advertisers start to pull ads or apparent corporate support from sites (as Mercedes Benz and Adobe did for Gawker after #GamerGate complaints poured in), it scares the hell out of online outlets.

–The fragile business model of advertising.

The Vox article is mostly about GamerGate, but this quote stood out because of its universal applicability. What it’s identifying here is the biggest vulnerability in the current demand for “free”, ad-supported online content.

If content producers can’t rely on a self-sustaining base of paying users, they become wholly beholden to their handful of big advertisers and, by extension, beholden to any interest group able to bring pressure against those advertisers. Some of you who are oldtimers in fandom may recall this is very similar to what happened at LiveJournal with things like Strikethrough, except with even bigger and broader implications for political discourse.

What happens to a democracy when mass media is afraid or unable to report on certain topics? That’s not a rhetorical question; we already know exactly what happens, and the ironic part was the Internet was “supposed” to stop it.

Welcome to the cost of “free”.

2017-08-23T09:53:40+10:0019th December, 2014|Tags: advertising, media|
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