Why do websites of otherwise trustworthy news organizations stoop to such lows? Because journalism’s digital business model, which forces outlets to compete for the same ad space with the most irresponsible websites on the internet, has created a new reality. Journalists, without the time or wherewithal to carry out a bare minimum of investigation under an unprecedentedly short news cycle, are forced to chase viral clicks and the pennies they bring, posting stories engineered toward “virality” to court their new social-media kingmakers. Once, credibility was the linchpin of journalism. Today, as dubiously sourced stories multiply, it’s an afterthought.
All this stuff happens all by itself!
Journalism’s “digital business model,” which is not a thing I knew to exist, has created a new reality! No people were involved in creating this new reality, nor were any decisions made. The business model created the reality. And journalists, apparently by magic, were forced to chase “viral clicks” and the “pennies they bring.”
Who forces those journalists? It’s not clear. Could be imaginary ninjas. Those things are fucking everywhere.
I can’t take this story too seriously, though. It contains this line:
In a prior era, journalists responsible for reporting falsehoods faced immediate dismissal.
Tell it to WILLIAM RANDOLPH FUCKING HEARST.