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1/the big challenge of the ad migration to Facebook & google, is editorial budgets are shrinking both the number of journalists & the time they have to file stories. most journalists don’t have deep knowledge of what their writing about, nor the time to acquire that knowledge.
80 replies and sub-replies as of Dec 28 2017

2/paradoxically, google and Facebook rewards journalists for doing many short pieces, and making them sensational (aka click bait). This trains publishers to take the crack hit & reward prolific & link baiting team members, which drives away quality sources for the methodical.
3/this ultimately results in the “fake news” meme gaining traction, which in turn drives quality graduates from wanting to suffer low salaries in journalism. This is the death spiral journalism is in today. Solutions?
Getting people to actually pay for journalism. The problem is, what's a good model? Patreon? The donation model?
People don't mind paying I think, it's just that there isn't much good editorial around IMO.
Less marketing ads, in browser cryptocrrency, more subscriptions for main revenues
is working on a crypto project to solve for this problem in journalism.
I once read a stat that 90% of all journalists are covering the same top stories. 1. Consolidation needs to occur so each one can focus on a wider range of topics in depth or 2. An affiliate system needs to be created so you can miss "massive" stories and it's OK.
Massive stories like the Las Vegas shootings need to be covered. But it doesn't mean that major news outlets need to drop everything its teams are doing and cover other things. The world may concentrate for a moment in time but it doesn't stop.
I'll stop reading tech and finance pieces to tune in with the rest of the country when these occur but I also won't judge those of you that go back to reading those tech pieces. There are stories to be broken, things to analyze, and we shouldn't need to choose between the two.
Do you think that this requires more mergers between news organizations or do you see another possible path?
seems to have a great model with @stratechery. #micropayments aren't a real solution if the desired outcome is well done journalism. instead focus on building brand, trust, and niche expertise. the reward is a profitable subscription business.
I’d rather spend extra time curating and/or using several aggregators to build a reputable content list than waste my time on clickbait journalism put out by the established publications
Bingo! Here's my recipe: 📱Tech news - @stratechery newsletter 🤖AI news - @inside #AI newsletter 🌎News news - @NPR @UpFirst podcast Add a heaping cupful of delete @facebook app from phone
The world needs to see this! Thanks brother!
has been harping about the power of subscriptions for years and I think he’s still right. Readers are tired of reading junk with clickbait headlines. Readers will pay.
There are lots of studies that have come to the conclusion that the readers willingness to pay is low or non-existent. Usually only high quality and niche papers have done well with subscription models.
“Only high quality” that the point? If I want breaking news, I’ll hop on Twitter. If I want thoughtful analysis or well-researched exposures, I’ll go to subscriptions. For example, I heard about the SpaceX launch last week from retweets of Elon. “News”paper not required.
Most journalists still work for newspapers. Hence, I commented regarding newspaper subscriptions. My point was that most newspapers are unlikely to survive with (online) subscription revenues.
Why does the survival of newspapers matter? Jason’s original question was about journalism. We shouldn’t equate journalism with newspapers. Reporters moaning over the loss of their sacred cash cows should move forward or move over.
we are hitting a point where enough people are coming to this same conclusion and we have a new opening for a paid membership, pure digital, city news org.
Digital for state and local news is key. Local news sites are riddled with paid content that is no good.
they are hallowing out
zoom out? this might be a "culture eats strategy..." problem
The easy way for lazy journalists is to skip research and default to politics....which is the sure fire way to polarize your audience. Confirmation bias drives the viscous cycle of polarized readers and lazy journalism. This applies to Left and Right.
Solution is partially in the 1st tweet of the thread, need to focus on good editorial. In the long run readers value a media brand with good editorial, IMO.
Journalism as a public service from the point of view of the govt. Meaning, the govt. provides a pool of funds for journalism that chooses to forgo ad revenues. This funding must have no strings attached besides the potential req. to adhere to long standing journalism ethics.
They need to come from a change in consumer behaviour.
It will bifurcate the market, those that rely on FB or Google for news will get tabloid level news, subscribers will get what subscribers of old got with physical papers every morning - quality journalism.
Journalism by #AI. Neutral, accurate, thorough.
Current AI tech isn't capable of writing high quality stories on most topics. Usually the articles written AI are short, concise and heavy on information. But aren't as enjoyable to read as content by humans. Also the AI content is mostly informative not thought provoking.
That said, I also think this is likely the future but it's decades not years away. There's speculation that the clickbait articles will be mostly written by bots and the deeper pieces will be written by humans, which would likely improve the current state of journalism.
Won't take decades. Just that revolutionizing/fixing journalism isn't the most pressing concern to use #AI for. Thought provoking isn't always the required criteria for journalism. There's nothing wrong to have hope. I too hope you're right
That may be so for now. It will change rapidly once an #AI starts working on it.
bu sorunu inoo cozer
Saat 2de, Taksim Starbucks?
Reward reader’s time spend on article not page views + ad impressions. Longer in depth articles = better journalism than current.
Reward journalists with cryptocurrency for every second spent by reader. In other words, “easier” to implement NY Times subscription model.
Maybe use browser extensions or apps to mine crypto on client side. Each second reading = more coins. Avoids clickbait & <5 sec sessions.
There are many solutions in the pipeline, the challenge is: #1) bridging the gap until the solutions are in market at scale #2) publisher transition before everyone is gobbled up by M&A
Tons of solutions have been experimented with and likely tons more will be experimented with. But I haven't yet seen one that would universally work or even be an obvious starting point for news organizations. What promising solutions have you seen?
in order to accept or to even consider new ideas, follow instructions: 1. open ur mind, 2. make room by removing preconceived ideas, 3. examine new ideas in light of pure consciousness @DalaiLama… #howtofixnews @NafeezAhmed @GaryBaiton
If a journalist has the right clout they’ll produce themselves like a media company. Exposure = access and it becomes a circular model. Events are the path to success for journalism. Taken them away from event companies that drain verticals
What types of events? Do you think the event model would work for news organizations too or only for the individual superstar journalists?
And it’s beginning to drive those who have built up genuine, deep expertise to seek opportunities outside of journalism.
This is a critical insight: smart folks have left journalism to become investors (see @om @mgsiegler @karaswisher ). ... Kara has announced she’s taking over @a16z and rebranding as “Kara & two boys?”
agreed on all fronts
Hm - that kind of brain drain has always existed, and it's always been about how much journalists get paid. If it's not VC firms (only journalists in SF go to those, really), it's banks, PR firms or consultancies.
True. But not all are motivated entirely by money; as opportunities to write longer articles that engage deeply with the subject matter disappear, so will those who are eager (and able) to write them.
Feels like it’s being increased by the pressure to get page views — which the top 10% really, really resent.
This, absolutely. (And the money is shrinking, too. What might have been “less, but enough” 5 years ago is increasingly just less.)
I absolutely miss the words of @mgsiegler and @om at least we still get the world through @om lens.
Check out and for my occasional writing and links, respectively.
The best tech stories of the day
It’s long been added to my RSS reader. I have a long appreciation of your words and your lens.
Check out and for my occasional writing and links, respectively. Thanks for the mention.
The best tech stories of the day
is the counter argument
I will say that in my case, I never set out to become a journalist/reporter. So the decision to leave that world was less about some stance/statement against that world. I just keep doing the same fundamental thing through different filters ;)
if everything is about money&investment, then you're probably right (being smart)
Facile and in my experience untrue. The stories that people read most are the best stories. The "mass volume" approach stopped working a long time ago. Too much noise. People are smarter than that.
When you're seeing lots of clickbaity stories today, you're looking at struggling race-to-the-bottom publishers.
Brutal that number of people who like headlines in newsfeed can be less than number of readers. (Not a good trend for collective wisdom)!
maybe nonlinear mappings of engagement/utility to value. fb video watch length, medium time spent reading, etc. might be an interesting metric.
Esp. if eye tracking/heatmapping of where you spend time on page improves, peopel could charge ads for time spent in the purview of the user, so an ad on the side of a page you spend 30 minutes on should have more value, not just binary/discrete view counts?
Ditto. Summed it up succinctly.
Or is it moving the incentives (and power) to niche bloggers who are well researched in their area?
Unfortunately not, the Pareto curve is insanely steep. Small blogs don’t appear on brand spending radars currently.
A mix of a user generated & page rank type metrics to give a “clickbait rating” that rewards good journalism. Journalism Pages and Individual Articles should get these ratings. Use metrics such as avg time on page plus ask the user to rate qualit on return to their feed.
Where do you display this rating? What incentive do content shovelers have to self-regulate?
The rating could be displayed in the feed below the article so you saw it before you clicked the article. The incentive would be that more people would click articles with higher ratings. Twist: you could set your newsfeed to only show articles above a certain rating.
Unfortunately real journalism cannot compete with stupid clickbait like prank videos or stupid cat videos for revenue. I think we will soon see the end of real journalism as other crap monetizes better. #FacebookIsAMediaCompany
1) Been thinking about the tokenization of press and how it could help the industry
2) Press should always have the means to conduct investigative journalism on anyone, even the most powerful
3) Imagine governments would allocate a specific public budget to press by issuing 5 tokens per citizen per day with which people could pay their press out of a national fund
4) Government/companies would have no power to decide who gets the tokens/money
5) People would have the right to give tokens to journalist OR news organization
1) Solutions? None, if we are going to be brutally honest! Their jobs are non-existent in 3-5 years with the massive investments in automation by organizations.
2) Pseudo-journalism is hurting media companies - what these young "journalists" do is to copy and paste 500+ words of contents from the internet and put their spins on it.
3) These companies are now crawling news sources with bots, scraping their data, automatically injecting them into their verticals and refining them with minimal human involvement.
4) The question most of these c-suite execs are asking is, why do we need them?! Don't act surprised if you see 2-3 people managing and operating a $50m+ media company soon.