Still more writhing by those in Gothamist and its sister publications. Journalists for the publications are blaming their billionaire owner for shutting them down when they really ought to look at the bigger picture, because local news’s problem are a lot bigger than just daddy tycoon refusing to indulge the scribes.
The online news kids always saw themselves as hipper than their print counterparts. They are the same. They have the same underlying problem. Local print publications have been folding for a reason — and they did it far better than the new guard. The seemingly less formal structure of online news made it seem more in tune with audiences, but what it was had been more sloppy, and worse, more naive.
Marshal McLuhan talked about a Global Village, and news made the international local. The world shrunk, but the standards became higher. When the world’s repository of news can all be found on the Internet, people will go for the bigger entities: they will shun a local paper for a big city or national counterpart.
And now when more news sites are putting up firewalls, demanding money to read their dreck, people will pick and choose, and the local is going to lose.
Look what has happened in the last year: 7.4 billion people on Earth, and there is just the one newsmaker: US President Donald J. Trump. That’s it. No one else exists, anymore. It’s his world now. The monomaniacs have won. Who cares about your local alderman when he is not nearly as eccentric as the American president?
The press kept hyping up newsmakers to the point you have to be outrageously over-the-top and turbo-flamboyant to be seen, heard, and remembered for more than two seconds.
Local news is being whumped by national media outlets.
Gothamist was never going to survive with a billionaire owner — why bother with the hyperlocal at all? Who really cares about local news?
People should care, but the climate is not receptive to it.
But that is not the fault of the rich and powerful. That is the fault of reporters chasing after caricatures, and looking for sensational stories — instead of examining where they have gone wrong — and how to fix the ways they interpret the world.