This week’s What I’ve Been Reading has somewhat of a theme: problems with news and entertainment media. It’s time to take a look at how the sausage gets made.
- Writing for the CBC, Neil Macdonald explains the causes and effects of the decline of North American newspapers. Splintering audiences have left newspapers without the budgets required to take on big targets; the result has been the rise of yellow journalism, sponsored content, and sycophantism.
- On to games media: on Monday, popular gaming site GameTrailers shut down. Jim Sterling of The Jimquisition explains the factors that led to the site’s closing. Basically, the ad-supported model is no longer sustainable for text-based media (in part due to the rise of ad-blockers), and sponsored content is now where the big bucks are. So sites turn to audiovisual content to make money – or in GameTrailers’ case, AV content was one of their main foci to begin with. But there’s just not a lot of money available from YouTube ad-revenue sharing, unless you’re getting millions of views per video.
- J.K. Trotter of Gawker exposes a tit-for-tat exchange between Hillary Clinton’s spokesperson and The Atlantic journalist Marc Ambinder – access in exchange for positive coverage. The sad thing is Ambinder probably wasn’t the only person who made such an agreement, as Trotter outlines in his piece.
Well, that was thoroughly depressing. It seems as if journalism is incorrigibly corrupt, and whatever good journalism is out there can’t afford to pay for itself. I guess all I can say is: Don’t believe what you read. Unless you read it here. I’d never lie to you, baby.