An enlightening and truly depressing personal account of the decline and fall of journalism in America.
"What I sensed was that while the laws of supply and demand governed everything on earth, the easy money was in demand—manufacturing it, manipulating it, sending it forth to multiply, etc. As a rule of thumb (and with some notable exceptions), the profit margins you could achieve selling a good or service were directly correlated to the total idiocy and/or moral bankruptcy of the demand you drummed up for it. Journalists were at a conspicuous disadvantage when it came to understanding their role in this equation.
In the past, newspapers had made respectable margins selling a non-inane product largely because people had little choice but to herald their sublets and white sales alongside the journalists’ tales of human suffering/corporate corruption/government ineptitude. That journalism’s ability to deliver information ultimately depended, to an unsettling degree, on the ability to create artificial demand for a lot of stuff that people didn’t actually need—luxury condos, ergonomically correct airplane seats, the latest celebrity-endorsed scent—was an afterthought at best, at least in the newsroom. Journalists, by and large, had so little appreciation for their dependence on the larger engine of artificial demand that they were mostly blindsided when the Internet happened and they lost the benefits of that engine."