When political pundit Ezra Klein left the Washington Post earlier this year for a new “Project X” in explanatory journalism backed by Vox Media, he told the Times, “We are just at the beginning of how journalism should be done online.” Oh, and “we’re hiring”!
Well, Project X may now be called Vox, but the great VC-backed media blitz of 2014 is staffed up and soft-launching, and it looks a lot more like Projects XY. Indeed, it’s impossible not to notice that in the Bitcoin rush to revolutionize journalism, the protagonists are almost exclusively – and increasingly – male and white.
To be sure, the internet has presented journalists with an extraordinary opportunity to remake their own profession. And the rhetoric of the new wave of creativity in journalism is spattered with words that denote transformation. But the new micro-institutions of journalism already bear the hallmarks of the restrictive heritage they abandoned with such glee. At the risk of being the old bat in the back, allow me to quote Faye Dunaway’s character from Network:
Look, all I’m saying is if you’re going to hustle, at least do it right.
Of the many others who have eloped from the portals of the industrial presses to big, shiny and new things (as in, not Yahoo or The Information), the sole female top editor or founder is Kara Swisher at Re/code. And she is running that technology site collaboratively with a man, Walt Mossberg. …
It is as if Arianna Huffington never happened. Or as if diversity of leadership and ownership did not really matter, as long as the
data-driven, responsively designed new news becomes a radical and successful enough departure from the drab anecdote laden guff put out by those other men. …
A clubhouse. Do we really still have to have one of those? And does the importance of clubhouse chemistry really override the need for a more thorough look at the statistical make-up of its membership?
[OMG, I can’t take any more. – Ed.]