Doesn’t matter what you read, where you read it, what the topic under discussion is – if you are absorbing mainstream media – the question you need to ask more and more is – can I trust them? And if you think you can … why?
I read a lot about tech, futures, sales, customers, politics, religion, music …. And in each of those disciplines, there are favorite writers that I checkout regularly – and the list keeps growing. The really good ones cross over between my silos of content interests – and the more they cross over – the more I hope one day I will meet the people – because I just feel that we will ‘get along’.
Now notice – writers – not media. The media has the agenda. Grant you – so does the writer – but it is more obvious, easier to track IMHO.
I have a large numbers of friends who don’t do that. They ask who do I track and read ( how long you got – about 320 and counting feeds in my news reader ). The point is that I rarely read news. Catch the headlines, got it – but I do read (and listen to) a LOT of commentary. To me there is a massive difference. News is commoditized – and if you want to know what who won a game or an election, what the weather is like in The Outer Hebrides, or when a film is being released. There are so many sources to go to. There are with opinions aswell. But opinions aren’t commoditized and are dependent on who is writing them. But. Are they qualified? Do you trust them? Are they biased? And so much more.
It is this stuff that takes time to build. Just because my friend trusts them – doesn’t mean I will. BUT – if my friend and I both trust 10 other writers – well – chances are much more likely we will agree on the 11th.
Anyway – had this feeling for a while now. Written about it before, and in conversation, people do get what I am saying – though they don’t seem to change their behavior. Sometimes, it just seems as if maybe I am up the wrong tree. Apparently not.
An article just posted on Hubspot by Dan Lyons (AKA fakestevejobs) …. In his words:
“Today is my first day as a marketing fellow at HubSpot. In my last job, I was the editor in chief of a technology news site called ReadWrite. Before that I was the technology editor at Newsweek, and before that I was a technology columnist at Forbes. I’ve spent my entire career in the media business, and now I’ve bailed out.”
Why you may ask? It is obvious really – but Dan spells it out in his blog post – some of which I highlight here:
“I’ve also spent the past few years writing “articles” that were less and less interesting — they were basically just SEO chum thrown out onto the internet in hopes of catching traffic.”
“I’ve watched the editorial department get pushed into ever more unnatural positions to suit the demands of advertisers.”
“A lot of good journalism is being committed outside the walls of traditional media companies.”
“Traditional media is increasingly a bad place for a good journalist to work.”
Great stuff – and does make me feel a lot better about myself – and the upside is the quality of the ‘content’ that just gets shipped around stands a very good chance of being improved and thus shared by my ever growing cadre of trusted sources and recommenders.