Here’s a quick game to play – try to find anyone saying anything positive about Newsweek at the moment. Their recent ‘scoop‘ got tons of coverage, but it turned negative pretty quickly. Check out the comments on their own followup statement about the story. It’s almost as if they’re encouraging the negativity by putting in closing statements like this:
Moreover, it [Newsweek] encourages all to be respectful of the privacy and rights of the individuals involved.
Amongst many others, Pando does a pretty good job of putting the boot in.
The sad thing in all this is that Newsweek will be benefiting greatly from all this additional coverage – I don’t often read articles from a site twice, but I’ve now read the Newsweek article twice, once when it first went live and now again in light of all the dispute about it. This additional ‘engagement’ from people (that’s no doubt being carefully analysed by the analytics team at Newsweek) will ultimately drive much more of this kind of ‘journalism’ – how could it not?
The end result (eg whether they really did uncover the Bitcoin founder) will be irrelevant in the long term – the site/mag got to extend it’s life a little longer. They’ll take what they can get. This is nothing new of course, but yet another reminder that it is only going to get worse.
So what to do? Well, what can we do… it’s bad enough (and perhaps ironic, if I wanted to misuse the term) that I’ve linked to them and likely driven them a few more eyeballs with this post.
Ultimately though I think there’s value in the discussion and people being challenged to making more considered choices in their reading.
So in that regard Newsweek, and the discussion around it has helped me with my future reading choices. Newsweek won’t be an option.