Designed to discipline workers into producing clickable and profitable content, newsroom analytics are radically changing the nature of media work — and hastening journalism’s ugly decline.
Victor Pickard is an associate professor at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. His latest books are After Net Neutrality, coauthored with David Elliot Berman, and Democracy Without Journalism?.
For the Left, it’s easy to hate the media, with its entrenched centrist biases and loyalty to the status quo. But a world without high-quality news is a world where meaningful democracy is impossible. That’s the message of media scholar Victor Pickard, who argues for a transformation of our media system away from the model of commercial news and toward a “public option.”
Tens of thousands of journalists are losing their jobs, newspaper chains are going under, and vulture capitalists are picking over the remains. We need a news bailout — but one that overhauls the existing corporate model and pushes the media to put the public before profits.
Our corporate media system prioritizes making money over producing adversarial journalism and covering working-class issues. We should dare to imagine something different: a public media system that privileges democracy over profits.
The internet faces a choice: corporate monopoly or public control.
The US media’s commercial nature is great for business, terrible for democracy.
The demise of Gawker shows that the greatest impediment to media democracy isn’t the state — it’s the rich and powerful.