She would say that, wouldn’t she?

Tina Brown, former editor of Vanity Fair and The New Yorker, said that the web giants had a responsibility to subsidise investigative reporting.

Newspapers and magazines on both sides of the Atlantic have been forced to cut budgets as advertising revenues increasingly move online. The “duopoly” of Google and Facebook will receive more than half of all money spent on digital advertising in Britain this year, according to recent forecasts. Asked if she was concerned about the future of journalism, Brown told Time magazine: “I do worry very much about the business model. I think it’s high time that Facebook and Google created a vast philanthropy fund to fund journalism. They have stolen so much that it’s high time they gave some of it back.”

It is interesting how profoundly conservative people can be, isn’t it? A little more Marx might be useful here, technology determines social relations. Ad supported investigative and long form reporting is really a transient thing, perhaps a century of it? And it happened just because that’s the way technology was then – and it ain’t now.

26 thoughts on “She would say that, wouldn’t she?”

  1. Solid Steve 2: Squirrels of The Patriots

    I think it’s high time that Facebook and Google created a vast philanthropy fund to fund journalism.

    Why bother funding journalists when people on the internet will happily spread lies for free? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  2. There’s an argument that high quality investigative journalism is being turned into a public good in the technical sense – the freeing up of information on the internet makes the stories non-rivalrous and non-excludable. So investigations could well end up under-produced.

    But I’d be extremely wary of it being left to the internet giants to fund them instead – organisations that already have unprecedented power over our consumption of information are a potentially dangerous choice for deciding what information should be produced, because it makes it even harder to escape their filter… the colour of their spectacles (and their extensive interests) shouldn’t be the determinant of what get deemed “hot topics” and investigated and discussed, and what gets swept under the carpet.

  3. high quality investigative journalism

    What we will get is activist-driven lies and SJW nonsense though. It isn’t lack of funding stopping investigative journalism, but the journalists themselves.

  4. “It is interesting how profoundly conservative people can be,”

    Didn’t someone say: ” Everyone is conservative about what they know”?

  5. Or, to refer to the original source:

    I have long known Robert Conquest’s three laws of politics, of which the third had always been something of a mystery. One and two I have seen for myself, but the third remained unclear:
    1. Everyone is conservative about what they know best.
    2. Any organisation not explicitly right-wing sooner or later becomes left-wing.
    3. The simplest way to explain the behaviour of any bureaucratic organisation is to assume that it is controlled by a cabal of its enemies.

    Steven Kates: America, the Big Dumb Ox

  6. @Chris Miller

    “Robert Conquest allegedly commented that “everyone is conservative about what they know best””

    Thanks Chris.

  7. And it happened just because that’s the way technology was then – and it ain’t now…

    What they are writing may also have something to do with it.

  8. People are sick of reading socialist diarrhoea and therefore the purveyors of said effluent need new funding to keep eating and enjoying the expensive greenfreak lifestyle while they dispense the pro-marxist evil propaganda.

    No–fuck off reds.

  9. I think the loss of the investigating,, the paid digging journalist is more than made up by the leakiness of the modern world which goog and face are massive contributors. And of course some bien pensants don’t like that either forcing by statute google to omit certain search results, address that before you make them pay journos.

  10. Bloke in North Dorset

    MBE.

    But I’d be extremely wary of it being left to the internet giants to fund them instead – organisations that already have unprecedented power over our consumption of information are a potentially dangerous choice for deciding what information should be produced, because it makes it even harder to escape their filter

    More importantly, they are in the final throes of being captured by SJWs and when that happens it will be their final victory..

  11. If they have stolen then should be recoverable. If its just this snowflake thinks they have stolen then she has no comeback at all. Except to carry on using them like a good snowflake.

  12. Journalists tell us how important journalists are. Meh.

    You guys are right. What sells periodicals is content, content, content. “Socialist diarrhoea” doesn’t sell.

  13. Lefty op-ed 001 ‘More money for people like me!’ Yawn.

    Investigative journalism funded by Google and Facebook? Are you fucking joking. Brown clearly thinks she’d never ever be a victim, I suspect she wouldn’t be so lucky.

    A flatmate of mine used to subscribe to Vanity Fair; I don’t remember much investigative journalism, but I do remember a lot of fawning Hollywood guff.

    The New Yorker is grossly-overwritten pretentious bilge.

  14. “The New Yorker is grossly-overwritten pretentious bilge.”

    Some of the cartoons used to be amusing. Are they still?

  15. It isn’t lack of funding stopping investigative journalism, but the journalists themselves.

    Here in ‘Merica at least, it has become obvious that the vast majority of journalists working these days wouldn’t even know how to properly conduct an investigation or to properly write about it once it has been concluded. ‘Merican journalists are trained to be political activists, not professional journalists.

    What Tina Brown is really saying is, Google and Facebook should fund us so we can remain employed as political activists, which is what journalists (not the public) want.

    The other issue at hand in the decline of investigate journalism is one that has not be addressed: If the public does not trust the investigator’s motives or judgment, there will be no demand for his services.

    Mainstream journalism simply laughs off the public’s concerns about objectivity, bias and conflict of interest and then can’t understand why nobody wants their product.

  16. “Mainstream journalism simply laughs off the public’s concerns about objectivity, bias and conflict of interest and then can’t understand why nobody wants their product.”

    Very true.

  17. These days, the job of journalists is to examine the output of various pressure groups, (think tanks, NGOs, government departments, etc.), decide if it fits the narrative and then mangle it in such a way as make it totally incomprehensible and unrecognisable from the original PR style fluff.

    This is why the profession requires such a prestigious degree.

  18. “A little more Marx might be useful here, technology determines social relations.”

    Please, No: Marx was a fourth-rate thinker. Technology influences, rather than determines, social relations, and social relations can influence technology.

  19. “‘Merican journalists are trained to be political activists, not professional journalists.”

    Ask a journalist why they became one. Universally, they answer, “I wanted to change the world.”

    Showing absolute ignorance of what journalism is.

  20. Google and Facebook are already heavily drinking the SJW cool-aid so it wouldn’t be too hard to imagine them funding leftie jornos.

    Owen Jones would cream himself if Google paid for his rent boy expenses.

  21. The machinery of journalism (printing presses, antennae) used to be very expensive, so everyone had to go through a journalist.

    That’s all journalists used to do. They didn’t find out much. People came to them with information.

    The other day my hairdresser reported that their staff were being sworn at by people over the parking situation. At one time, that would have had the local paper over, reporting the story. Instead, the owner just wrote something on Facebook. Then stories move up the chain by likes, retweets etc replacing editors deciding what’s important.

    And for certain sorts of stories, there will be a market. If you break news stories, or write content people value, maybe they’ll Patreon you or subscribe, or you’ll be the first place, so people follow you on Facebook/Twitter and you get the ad revenue. Harry from Ain’t it Cool News does well because he’s the man that all the gossipers go to first.

    This is the big shift: there isn’t going to be giant news ops with editors and fancy chairs. AICN and Guido will be in portakabins.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *