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NiemanLab: The Internet is pushing the American news business to New York and the coasts

Posted 5 years, 4 months ago

Media as we know it have most definitely changed over the past decade of so.  With the proliferation of digital technology and media, there's a thought process that content creation would open up -- economically, perspectivly and geographically. The possibilities of digital media are endless.  One could do journalism from anywhere in the world and not have to report back through New York or LA to ensure distribution.  Despite this possibility, it is apparently not the case.

, from NiemanLab, writes on how the digital media revolution has actually further pushed media and content creation to the coasts of the United States, and New York in particular.

Benton writes:

A few years back, around the time of the financial crisis, I remember hearing about a guy with a startup idea for a news site. The main expense any online publisher has is people, right? People who stubbornly insist on being paid actual money.

But the Internet meant reporters could churn out content from anywhere. So rather than pay 23-year-olds $24,000 a year to live in a closet in Brooklyn, he wanted to buy up some land in Mexico — somewhere in the Yucatán, on a beach — and build a little Content Village. Rather than Williamsburg bars, he’d tempt young journalists with great surfing, a sandals-based dress code, and cheap cerveza. And because the cost of living was so much lower in Mexico, he could pay them crazy low wages — like half the American going rate.

I don’t believe his little experiment in journalism arbitrage ever went anywhere, but it fit into a sort of thinking common in certain circles in earlier days of the web: The power of the Internet was to eliminate barriers to entry, and geography was going to be one of the first to go. The “Publish” button in your CMS worked from anywhere, after all.

But like so many optimistic narratives from that era of online media, the reality’s turned out different. Rather than disperse the news business around the country, the Internet has concentrated it more firmly than ever in New York and a few other major cities. And that has real impacts on the kind of news we get.

“The Internet doesn’t spread things apart — it pushes them together,” Richard Florida, the urban studies theorist, told me. “You’re seeing more of these winner-take-all effects.”

Read the full article here.


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