Is Social Media "Bad" For For Good Journalism?
Mr. Eve Williams, CEO of Medium.com, thinks that social media fundamentally bad for good journalism.
Why does he think that way?
He says, in this article, that the basic reason is because good journalism doesn't fit in well with the corporate funded necessity built into social media.
In his article entitled, "Renewing Medium's Focus", Mr. Williams does into more detail and say:
"Our vision, when we started in 2012, was ambitious: To build a platform that defined a new model for media on the internet. The problem, as we saw it, was that the incentives driving the creation and spread of content were not serving the people consuming it or creating it — or society as a whole. As I wrote at the time, “The current system causes increasing amounts of misinformation…and pressure to put out more content more cheaply — depth, originality, or quality be damned. It’s unsustainable and unsatisfying for producers and consumers alike….We need a new model.”
Mr. Williams goes on to say the basic problem is that journalism needs ad revenue to get their product in front of readers. But ads are paid for by companies and commercial interests which usually are not interested in truth and accuracy (my words…not Mr. Williams') but rather in their own agenda which may or may not be good for the reader.
Almost all of that advertising comes from social media and…well..we all know what a banal cesspool social media has become, don't we? Most social media content is just an arms race of competitors to see who can be the most shocking, sleazy, ridiculous, trite, sensational, and outright crazy in order to 'get the click'.
Truth and critical thinking is not encouraged or generally rewarded. In fact, it is generally scorned and criticized.
Medium says they are shutting down two of their offices, laying off lots of people, and now working towards a better model which will continue to work toward their original goal of, "…defining a new model for writers and creators to be rewarded, based on the value they’re creating for people. And toward building a transformational product for curious humans who want to get smarter about the world every day."
Sounds like a noble goal to me.
Addressing Medium's announcement in his own article on another platform, Sean Blanda, Co-founder of @TechnicallyM., noted that although the younger generation unquestionably prefers to consume news online, their trust in it is at an all-time low.
Sean agrees with Mr. Williams on the reason for the problem but expresses it thusly: "…the incentive structure of online news is fundamentally broken."
His article is a longer read but gives a more detailed explanation of what he and Mr. Williams both agree is happening with online news and journalism today. The two articles fit well together.
I'm wondering if an answer to the problem of separating quality journalism from the taint of social-media could be to get more news and journalism from Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAO) where the possible advantage of a might be that the DAO has its own built-in producers, consumers, delivery system, and payment system.
If you're not familiar with what a DAO is, read this excellent article by Tom Prendergast, CEO of Markethive, one of the emerging successful DAO models on the internet today.
Markethive is an online community for entrepreneurs and has just recently achieved a major funding objective for continued growth. It already has several unique proprietary technologies, with more on the way, and is ideally suited to enable the entrepreneur trying to establish and build a product, service, or brand. It is also free to join…here.
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