Former Engadget and Mashable Editor: “Web Journalism Is a Joke”
I’ve heard the argument that we’ve “redefined” journalism, but semantics aside, we’re either profit-seekers or truth-seekers. We’re either entertainers or informers. No one can be both unless the game rules are changed. I’m tired of seeing TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington and Huffpo’s Arianna Huffington claim otherwise in their crusades against “old media.”
For all the flak they get, at least AOL’s Tim Armstrong, Demand Media’s Richard Rosenblatt and Mahalo’s Jason Calacanis aren’t lying through their teeth. They’d be the first to tell you they’re mass-producing commodities tailored to consumer demand, just like Gap or McDonald’s.
And guess what? There’s nothing wrong with that. Wise people place their bets based on the cards they’re dealt. On the web we’ve all been dealt a shit hand for journalism, such that the only way to win the long game is to fold.
Instead, we have opportunities to use our resources to entertain, to shape the public and popular culture, and to generate financial opportunities for ourselves and others. Stop calling it journalism. It’s not, but it’s a rewarding way to make a living. Maintaining that distinction is vital to the critically endangered future of real journalism.