Turning questions into metrics. Every long post Stijn writes is such high quality. In this one he focuses on measuring things within a news organization. It all starts by asking, “a good metric to do what?”
The obvious reaction to this case, as with the Belgian one, is to marvel at the publisher’s nerve; after all, as we saw with the Belgians, Google is driving traffic from which the publishers profit. “Ganz im Gegenteil!” say the publishers. “Google would not exist without our content.” And, at a very high level, I suppose that’s true, but it’s true in a way that doesn’t matter, and understanding why it doesn’t matter gets at the core reason why traditional journalistic institutions are having so much trouble in the Internet era.
But the difference really isn’t Chorus. The difference is that Vox is open to experimentation, it demands rapid iteration, and it puts technology-shaping people on par with word-shaping people. The difference is that, in many traditional newsrooms, changing the UI on a page like this one would have taken multiple meetings where the tech side’s knowledge would likely have been undervalued. It’s a corporate ethos and a permission structure that means good ideas don’t have to get bottled up. It’s being the kind of place that would build Chorus in the first place. That is Vox’s edge, and you can’t buy that off the shelf.
We are dealing with experts in propaganda who will stop at nothing to see their version of events prevail, and on the rare occasions when the truth emerges, like a hernia popping through gorged corpse, they apologise discreetly for their ignoble flatulence in a mouse-sized font for hippo-sized lies.
Russell Brand appears to be a lot more intelligent than I previously gave him credit for.
Greenwald and the Guardian exhibited the highest value of journalism: intellectual honesty. That does not mean they were unbiased. It means they were willing to do damage to their political side in the name of truth.
To make journalism harder, slower, less secure. Great observations from Jay Rosen about the current challenge to journalism from the surveillance state.
Can the Guardian take its aggressive investigations global? Good read in the New Yorker about the Guardian and how it operates.
If the pace at which you receive new metrics outstrips the pace at which you can change your newsroom’s priorities, then what’s the point?
Influence lives at intersections. Yet, as an industry, it at times feels the boundaries we have built around who makes an effective product manager, or programmer, or designer, are stronger than ever, even as the need to cross those boundaries is ever more pressing.
Applications are due tomorrow, April 6th, at 9 pm Pacific. If you’re interested you should apply now!
The Code with me site has an early outline of what the schedule will be along with information on the rest of the mentors, sponsors, and more.