Media Companies Hate News, the Internet, Employees and their Own Customers

Or, as the Hip Happening Kids Today call it, #Tronc: 

CasSelle: We produce tons of great content every single day. We’re really focused on how we we deliver it to people in a way they want to consume it more and more.
Vasquez: One of the key ways we’re going to harness the power of our journalism is to have an optimization group. This Tronc team, will work with all of the local markets, to harness the power of our local journalism, feed it into a funnel, and then optimize it so we reach the biggest global audience possible.

Yes, Tronc shall take the corn feed of journalism and funnel it into the optimization-group goose, to make delicious foie gras that will be consumed by the digital natives.

It arguably gets worse from there. And what’s genuinely sad is that people who talk like this typically don’t understand how the internet actually works—that’s why they lean on buzzwords—or have any notion of how to communicate with journalists, who tend to bristle at this stuff.

These are internal employee videos designed to PUMP YOU UP about your newfound place not at Tribune Publishing, a recognizable name that at least still sounded impressive, but at Tronc, which sounds like you stepped on a duck.

As anyone who has been to a painfully earnest all-hands corporate meeting will tell you, by the time the CFO starts “rapping” at you about your company’s commitment to hygiene or there’s a fake “flash mob” to a song that was popular 15 years ago, the interesting people are all at one table trying not to laugh out loud and the really interesting people have figured out how to smuggle in some booze or weed or something to make this Little Debbie nonsense tolerable.

I will never understand why media companies keep expecting journalists to swallow their nonsense. You have a group of vaguely feral paranoids you have hired because their bullshit detectors are finely honed, and then you back the truck up and dump the biggest load of bullshit anyone has ever heard right on their doorstep, and you are SURPRISED when they stand up and say, “HEY, ANYBODY SMELL THAT?” And the Internet is like this times 1,000.

To work in a medium you need to understand it. To publish those videos, and to then threaten promise you are going to make more videos when nobody wants the first series of shitty videos and your website makes people’s browsers do wheezy noises, is to profoundly misunderstand the what the internet is for. And acting like this is going to inspire journalists?

You know what would inspire them? Paying them a fraction of what you paid for the fucking duck call you named your company after, and letting them do the fucking news.


4 thoughts on “Media Companies Hate News, the Internet, Employees and their Own Customers

  1. Colonel McCormick should rise out of his grave and swat the Brainless Trust of Tronc with a thick, wide-page, 1930’s-era Sunday Tribune. I’d say they wouldn’t know what hit them, but that line would be both metaphoric and literal.

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