i disagree. this guy sounds like a crank.
David is a thoughtful guy and a Good Dude. I agree with all of it, but I especially think it's important for people to recognize: the way in which elites in digital media dismissed early concerns about the monetization problem in online media, out of a fear of appearing to be out of touch, was hugely destructive. Because we're seeing it now. I could probably make a list of at least a dozen quality sites that went under, or underwent "redesigns" that amounted to slashing almost all of the writing and editorial staff, in the past five years. And the reason is simple: nothing resembling a coherent business strategy. But you can hardly blame them because the overwhelming cultural force was to say "just put good content out there and the money will come eventually!" That is not a plan and it does not work, and we're seeing the early stages of a very painful contraction in the labor market for paid online writing.
Sessions’ bit about the manhunt for the alleged Boston marathon bombers was correct (in part because this has always been the case):
If breaking news coverage is supposed to be hours-long, anxiety-inducing interactive entertainment, then it was great. If you simply wanted a truthful account of what happened, a reported, verified, and synthesized account printed in a newspaper a couple of days later was a much better option.
But I wasn’t sure about this part:
I do think there’s a distinction between media-led voyeurism like the Boston bomber manhunt and other times that important events, like the Ferguson protests, have become stories after they bubbled up organically through social media.
What is the distinction he’s talking about here? (“Organically” vs. ... what, exactly?)
I'm not entirely sure about it either, but basically I wanted to say I don't think social media is categorically bullshit, or that there can never be a valuable or worthwhile reason to follow a "breaking" event on Twitter. There are times when non-journalists "on the ground" make something that should be a story a story. But maybe there isn't that big a distinction to be made.
Yeah. I suppose I am just very skeptical of the suggestion that certain stories ought to be treated as inherently suspect or counterfeit because they’re insufficiently “organic.” That’s the first and often main line of defense for public relations offices: “You’re creating a story where there is none.” Well, yes, that’s the point!