Last week, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to be in Warsaw for the n-ost conference. Journalism is one very ungrateful trade nowadays, with issues from small wages to an inglorious fight to stay relevant, but that meeting was nothing about it. It wasn’t about any trendy new tool or about how fancy cosmopolitan NY journalists were creating a newsletter to fight Trump. It wasn’t about that neither. The journalists I saw were talking, in many cases, about how to keep on reporting without ending up broke, in jail or worse. It was basic journalism 101.
In a world where space is infinite, why is not everyone there? This is the most fascinating question that came to me reading a study made by Yochai Benkler, author and the Berkman Professor of Entrepreneurial Legal Studies at Harvard Law School following the symptoms that show that centre-right is not well-represented in US media (which I think may be the same as in other countries). Continue reading “Forget the alt-right and call moderate conservatives back to the table”
This year, the US Open, one of the four Grand Slam tennis world tournaments, will not be measured by the skills of the most talented players in the world. The eyes will all be behind the camera – or better, the servers – on the possible major disruptor that has caused havoc in many areas: Amazon. Continue reading “Never an US Open mattered so much for media”
Last month, at last, the most awaited piece of media legislation in history has hit the real world. The Global Data Protection Regulation is a 2016 law but gave two long years for publishers to comply – and it was not enough, so publishers restricted or blocked European users from using to avoid the risks that possible fines could come. An outrage was expected, as accusations of privacy breach is unavoidable, but a second one, I must say, surprised me: the allegation of the GDPR as the instrument of governments to create a “Splinternet”, a Web that is not equal for everyone. It may well be an issue here, but it seems much more of a well-done work of marketing, PR and legal teams of the tech giants to demonise a step ahead to protect privacy. The democracy attackers are no longer only fat white old males pulling the strings of monopolistic corporations. Now, trendy, cool, well-educated, liberal élites across the Western world are helping corporations and slices of government to gnaw individual rights unceasingly. Continue reading “Criticism of GDPR is smelly – and it’s not good”
These are tough times for Facebook. The company has suffered many small upsets in the past two years but kept growing, which for the whole trade meant they were doing everything alright. Now that the Cambridge Analytica scandal not only came to the surface but also gave unequivocal proof that it’s just the tip of the iceberg, the Palo Alto behemoth should conclude that the last two years were delightful compared to the scrutiny, pressure and financial loss Facebook should experience from now on. But outside Palo Alto, one question that the whole trade should be doing itself is: is it surprising that an industry that lives and dies for the goals set by marketing and sales departments rips off any regulation and break rules that can restrict potential revenues? Continue reading “Regulation, rants and reputation: the Facebook perfect storm”
These days, the general feeling among the digital media observers in the world is a mix of fear, uncertainty and commiseration. The industry as we know is plainly sinking. Digital journalists are replacing the number of traditional media jobs at a scale of 20 to 1. The wages are plummeting (in America far less than anywhere else). Tech companies are showing signs that they are also set to jump away from the journalism boat after spending their entire existence pledging loyalty to “quality journalism”, whatever this may mean. Following this trend, the once media-darling digital-born operations are letting the mask fall and biting the dust with everyone else. Any schadenfreude is allowed here (although it is difficult to consider a loser someone who leaves richer than before). The technomodernpress was a disease with a staggering price. Continue reading “Get over: there is not going to be a tech Graal to save journalism”
“In a dark time, the eye begins to see”
Every week, tech companies and their extensions announce the rollout of a new resource, something that will bring great benefits for society, something that will bring back lot revenues and relevance for publishers, something that journalists have long been waiting for and will return them to their role of caretakers of society and guardians of the democracy. The media and its adjacencies were taken for years by kind of a sebastianism, an irrational wait for the return of something that decayed a long ago. Journalism needs to mature and leave a state of denial that it can survive with the help of the Facebooks and Googles of the moment. It’s time to get over and stop pretending that display advertisement, subscriptions and patronage will make dead flowers rise again. Continue reading “The stormy scenario may be the ordeal that journalism needs”