The future of journalism is about speed, volume, rough and tumble and– like the tech world– “good enough” iteration. Even blogs like ours that produce comparatively less, with editing and illustration and reporting still move at a rapid pace compared to the old media world.
Every story we do could have been made better with a huge old media machine behind it. But typically that improvement would be marginal, and most readers wouldn’t notice or care. That’s why blogs work. Readers would rather have the information clearly and quickly, than read the fruits of seven editors arguing over a nut graph.
But that is in no way what this is. More than 11 staffers worked on this piece and it took more than six months. When we talk about the New York Times and the Washington Post having newsrooms of hundreds and hundreds of people, it’s usually in the context of it being an albatross.
But this is what you can produce when you do. And yeah, maybe we’re all paying attention because it was the New York Times that did it. But that brand, reach and distribution is part of the power of an expensive legacy newsroom as well.
This isn’t the future of journalism. It’s a legacy– and still troubled– brand like the New York Times taking off the gloves, no longer pretending it can compete with nimble blogs and throwing one hell of a punch at all of those lean newsrooms around the country. This is what a several hundred person staff and a massive brand name can do, bitches!
If this was the future of journalism, there would be no future of journalism. Because almost no one can afford it anymore, and many of the ones who can are too scared for their survival to try. It’s like Google fiber or the self-driving car, but in journalism. It’s showing off as much as it is good work.