For my last blog post, I thought I would explore a topic tied to the future of digital media and online journalism. This article from Vanity Fair breaks the news about a new venture called Axios from Politico co-founder and former C.E.O. Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen, the founder of its Playbook newsletter.
As part of the PR spin used to announce the new publication, the company says that its mission statement is: “Media is broken—and too often a scam.” It’s hard to argue that journalism isn’t broken right now, bogged down by plummeting revenues, an aura of mistrust, and the epidemic of fake news. The partners argue that online journalism is monopolized by industry giants like The New York Times with outdated technology and advertising models, and the digital media start-ups of the last decade that are based on “just give me a lot of traffic, I swear to God I will find a business model.”
VandeHei describes his new media enterprise as what you would get if the “Economist mated with Twitter.” Although the news venture doesn’t launch until January and the final details are still secret, they have hinted that it will specialize in business, technology, politics, and media trends in short, high-quality news items designed to be shared on Snapchat and Facebook. Some people have theorized that the venture might take its direction from We the People, a news channel on Snapchat.
So do news ventures like Axiom signal the future of journalism? Will it be dominated by headlines and nuggets of news that we absorb by scrolling through social media? It’s food for thought, especially as the growth of social networks seem to show no evidence for slowing down.