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Karl Bode: Politico's former owner starts a finishing school for journalists, and there are 'a few red flags'

2 min read

Recommended: At TechDirt, Karl Bode looks at the Washington Post's report on former Politico owner Robert Allbritton's new "journalism finishing school" and thinks that perhaps Allbritton, who complains of "definitely a kind of a woke kind of shift that took place within newsrooms," is not the savior of journalism anyone's been looking for.

So, look, any money being doled into journalism is good. And I’m sure the NOTUS fellows are doing some decent work. I hope they’re being paid a living wage with high-end luxuries like health care and time off, and I also hope that this entire effort isn’t shuttered in six months after it’s revealed that Allbritton blew the entire budget on outsized compensation and lavish brand parties a la Sports Illustrated.

Here’s the thing that annoys me.

There’s an ocean of problems with journalism, but the idea that there’s just too damn much woke progressivism is utter delusion. U.S. journalism generally tilts center right on the political spectrum. It’s generally corporatist and pro-business to a comical degree. Often it’s too feckless to meaningfully critique wealth and power. Routinely it traffics in engagement-chasing distraction, not knowledge.

The tech press, in particular, operates basically as an extension of tech company marketing departments. There certainly is occasionally good journalism (ProPublica’s exploration of the Supreme Court, Reuters’ investigations into Tesla), but by and large the folks in charge of major U.S. media institutions are building a badly automated ad-engagement ouroboros for which the truth is a pretty distant fucking afterthought.

Read it at TechDirt.

Former Politico Owner Launches New Journalism Finishing School To Try And Fix All The ‘Wokeness’
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