Reshaping the business of news

It’s easy to become inured to journalism loss. It’s mounting every day across the world. While it can range from upsetting to life-changing to energizing (for the lucky) for those laid off or bought out — for readers, it’s mainly a tale of loss. They know less about more, at a time when democratic societies are struggling and often failing to deal with fundamental issues before them. As we reshape the business of news, we’ve got to ask better questions about how those reshapings affect what readers get — and what they don’t.

When a tornado meets a volcano, or… 

Laura Bennett: Tell me about the first time you saw a Kindle.

Andrew Wylie: I was in Rome, in the back of a taxi, and I couldn’t see it. So I thought, fuck this. This was in 1924 or something when the Kindle was launched. I bought it right away and discarded it immediately. And I haven’t picked it up again. Mea maxima culpa.

Coverage of the government shutdown

I’ve been harping on this, following James Fallows’ lead, so here’s one more:

In the current political climate, journalistic false equivalence leads to an insufficiently informed electorate, because the public is not getting an accurate picture of what is going on. … Journalists have been suckered into embracing “balance” and “neutrality” at all costs, and the consequences of their choice in an era of political extremism will only get worse and worse.

Gender bias in the media

Thoughtful, incisive and perceptive piece by Adrienne LaFrance on gender bias in the media using her own work as a case study.

Here’s the essential question: “Is it your job to merely reflect what’s out there, or do you have other reasons to write in a more representative fashion?” How you answer says a lot about what you see as the critical function of journalism. If you believe that journalism has the power to affect the way people think and act — how they vote, for example — you’d probably agree that it’s important for journalism to actually represent the people it serves.