I've just started a media column for the Observer (the New York one). Here is the first outing. A snippet from the start:
Journalists, understandably, will tell you there are too few of their kind left in the world. But considering how much they repeat each others’ work, perhaps the truth is that we have too many of them.
Every day on Google News, you can find hundreds, often thousands of versions of the same news, sometimes when it’s not even new. Why did the world need countless reports on the recent blue moon when the event — merely a calendrical oddity — is perfectly well-explained on Wikipedia? Did every media outlet on earth really have to write its own version of the story of that mysteriously colored dress? Editors send 15,000 journalists to each of the political conventions where nothing unexpected happens (well, unless Donald Trump shows up).
After newspaper newsrooms shrank by another 10.4% last year over the year before — the total workforce cratering to 32,900 from a 1990 high of 56,900 — how can we still afford such inefficiency? Why does the industry produce so much duplication?
The answer, of course, is economic. The problem is the old, mass-media business model, which still sells advertisers volume: a thousand pairs of eyes at a time. As a result, every news organization thinks it needs its own take on any story so it can fill its own page and have a place for its own ad and get its own page view and earn its own pennies for each one....
The rest at the link below....http://observer.com/2015/08/amid-constant-layoff-journalists-should-stop-parroting-each-other/