Slate’s David Plotz counts 71 ways …
At the time, they were probably the most numerous bird species on the planet. Over the years, however, the passenger pigeons were decimated by hunting, deforestation, and natural population variation. By 1914, there was exactly one bird left: Martha, a resident of the Cincinnati Zoo.
When I first arrived in New York, some time back in the last century, I gazed in awe and fascination at subway riders reading The New York Times. [link]
“Covering wars for a polarized nation has destroyed the civic mission I once found in journalism. Why risk it all to get the facts for people who increasingly seem only to seek out the information they want and brand the stories and facts that don’t conform to their opinions as biased or inaccurate?” [link]
“The internet won, and despite killing off thousands of jobs in the print industry, it created many more than expected in an ever-multiplying array of new web ventures. But now that it won, it’s increasingly unclear that was a good thing. A lot of people who work in internet media secretly—or in many cases, not-so-secretly—hate it, and some even suspect they are actively making the world a dumber place, as they very well may be. “ [link]
The strangest thing about Rose’s piece is that there isn’t a single sentence that discusses the economics of the journalism business outside of the paragraph describing money that has recently been invested into it. But what kind of money is coming out of it? A true golden age of journalism, if it is to last more than a few ephemeral years subsidized by check-writing billionaires and venture-capital speculation, will require that publishers make a profit and writers and reporters can make a decent living. But I’m not hearing from a whole lot of happy writers. If you are lucky, you might be able to command a freelance pay rate that hasn’t budged in 30 years. But more people than ever work for nothing.
In 2007, when I launched my first website, our comment section was central to the product. We scrutinized every detail of it. We incessantly debated the interactions — should we allow ‘up’ and ‘down’ votes? — and considered “comments per article” to be a major KPI. [link]
By the end of 2014, more than 3 billion people will have access to the Internet, which means that they (we) have the power to ask any question at any time and get a multitude of answers within a second. [link]