Hmm, I’m really not sure about this at all:
Today, we are better than ever at telling people what’s happening, but not nearly good enough at giving them the crucial contextual information necessary to understand what’s happened. We treat the emphasis on the newness of information as an important virtue rather than a painful compromise.
The news business, however, is just a subset of the informing-our-audience business — and that’s the business we aim to be in. Our mission is to create a site that’s as good at explaining the world as it is at reporting on it.
Reimagining the way we explain the news means reinventing newsroom technology. Vox is already home to modern media brands — SB Nation, The Verge, Eater, Curbed, Racked, and Polygon — that are loved by tens of millions of people, including us. The engine of those sites is a world-class technology platform, Chorus, that blows apart many of the old limitations. And behind Chorus is a world-class design and engineering team that is already helping us rethink the way we power newsrooms and present information.
That’s all very well and of course I wish them every success.
But I fear that they’ve become infected with this very American idea that “the news” is the reason and purpose of the media. You know, this telling truth to power thing, the same thing that leads to would be journalists having to do two year post graduate degrees, the almost laughably pompous manner in which news stories are actually written over there.
The entire journalistic culture in the US has missed what I think we still remember over here. The news is just the stuff that fills in the space between the advertisements. To be a journalist is just to be a copy writer that attracts people to the page opposite the Sears display ad. Telling the truth, informing people about the deep background, these might be what gain Pulitzers but they’re not actually what attract the eyeballs upon which the entire enterprise floats.
Yes, sure, I’m being cynical. But righteously so I think.