It's time we rethink journalism

It's time we rethink journalism
Photo Credit: New York Public Library on Unsplash

We've had a lot of bad news in journalism recently. I talked about the layoffs at my publication recently, but that's really just the tip of a seemingly daily onslaught of bad news involving layoffs and full blown shut downs of publications like Vice Media, Messenger and BuzzFeed News.

I've been thinking a lot lately about the journalism business model, and over the last decade or two we've seen a couple of things happen. Large hedge funds have bought publications including the one that owns TechCrunch. We've also seen billionaires buying venerable publishing brands like Jeff Bezos at the Washington Post, John Henry (the principal owner of the Boston Red Sox) buying the Boston Globe and Salesforce founder Marc Benioff buying Time Magazine.

After years of watching journalism falter, it's time we stop putting our faith in the monied elite and take control of the industry again. It's clear we can no longer rely on rich owners to nurture journalism. That has to come from within.

In fact, platforms like the one I'm using to publish this newsletter offer a way to publish without a big platform owner. One of the more successful examples of that is journalist Casey Newton, who runs Platformer News. He and partner Zoë Schiffer are a powerful journalism team cranking out news on the big tech platforms every day.

We need a lot more small teams with independent owners producing news that matters if we are to save journalism from the billionaires and the hedge fund managers.

There's been a lot of bad news lately in this profession, but let's look to a future where the writers control the media instead of the large corporations because that clearly hasn't worked.


Some of my recent work on TechCrunch:

How Bret Taylor’s new company is rethinking customer experience in the age of AI

With Twilio under activist pressure, Segment could be put up for sale (with Alex Wilhelm)

Apple eyes business as a prime market for the Apple Vision Pro