- When I was a kid, one of the things I wanted was to be a newspaper journalist or a magazine journalist. For a period of time, I wished that I had done Mass Communications in a Polytechnic in Singapore. After that, I was sort-of planning to do Communications (or Arts and Social Sciences- hopefully Sociology) at University. Thankfully, none of Singapore’s Universities wanted to have anything to do with me. So I luckily sidestepped a career in journalism.
- I’ve been afraid to write this because I have friends in the media who work really hard, who are very passionate about what they’re doing.
- The difficult thing about journalism I think is the conflict between “public interest” and “interesting to the public”. Real-world constraints force news sites, magazines, etc to end up pandering to the lowest common denominator. This is foremost a problem of our physiology. We’re wired for gossip and bad news. Steve Jobs talked about this in a Wired interview in 1996. The media isn’t conspiring to dumb us down. In fact, many editors and publishers are jaded, disgrunted folk who got into the business because of lofty ambitions, but found that they were cruelly limited and constrained by funding issues. What do you do?
- It makes me think that the only way you can really have great writing is if people pursue it as a hobby/passion. I don’t know. I’m probably wrong about this. But the odds are too horrible for me to want to get into it for a living.
Tech In Asia wrote a post about how they want people to shut up about Instagram’s logo. Which is funny to me.
The funny first rule of the media is that nobody in the media ever wants anybody to shut up, ever. It’s an infinite game. Telling people to shut up is really a provocation, an invitation to keep talking.
There’s an interesting bit in Hasan Minhaj’s White House Correspondent’s Dinner speech where he talks about how watching the news is like “watching CNN watching the news”. I think that’s a great insight into how the media works. Nobody really wants the facts laid out for them straight up with clear analysis. They want WWE (which is a tv show about wrestling).
Alain de Botton wrote an entire book about The News, and how it’s such a constant in our lives – and yet the newsmakers themselves are oddly coy about the influence they have on the public. The news seldom examines the news.
Trump and ratings…