Harry McCracken on the end of PCWorld magazine

If you could have shown me the web in 1983, or even 1993, I would have cheerfully traded an infinite number of computer magazines for the chance to read an endless, endlessly diverse quantity of information about tech products, updated not once a month but all day, every day, for free.

I would have too. But I would have thought twice if I realized just how much shit would be posted too.

Yeah, magazines are old tech and they’re on the way out. But journalism is still very much an industry in transition. I’m not sure that we’ve replaced what was there with something that is, on the whole, better.

  • Domicinator

    It depends what wing of journalism you’re talking about. Click bait journalism is my least favorite thing on the entire internet. It quite literally makes me crazy. Good journalism will always be good journalism and it’s way more accessible because of the internet.

    • lkalliance

      I wouldn’t call “clickbait journalism” journalism, but that would just be semantics. I think Peter’s point is that there is a professional standard that often isn’t met, and that’s the part for which there is still a market. That content may be somewhat nebulously (and subjectively) defined, but it’s out there and is still needed.

      • Domicinator

        It’s definitely still needed, and it’s the reason why I still pay for premium content like Jim’s magazine, Wired, etc.

    • Moeskido

      There’s no such thing as “clickbait journalism.” That’s just gossip and rumor-mongering. It doesn’t deserve to be called anything better than that.

      The transition that genuine journalism is facing is a steady economically-driven abandonment of the principles that have made the field what it was: standards for investigation, fact-checking, context, focus, ethics, and — yes — good grammar and syntax.

      Those principles cost money to maintain, and require trained editorial people to uphold them. A luxury in an age when you can hire a content farm to spew out 350 words about any subject for pennies.

      There is way too much noise out there now, and it’s not getting better.

  • Indeed there is much change in Journalism these days.

    The problem is who’s going to pay for it. Newspapers are dying because any good original content they had is being copied by websites in short/quick paragraphs with a tiny link to the original source way at the bottom. So newspapers aren’t getting the views they want, etc. The web is full of sites that don’t create original much original content, they just rewrite the first two paragraphs of a story.

    Subscriptions are drying up because most people are getting their news from TV or the web (see first paragraph). TV news isn’t as full and in-depth as written articles could be.

    I think about the fantastic multi-media rich presentation of the NY Times article: Snow Fall which hit the webs last year and felt that for in-depth reporting, nothing beats its. Of course, it’s looking like that it was a one-time occurrence.