John McCain isn’t one to mince words, and when it comes to freedom of the press, he couldn’t be more blunt: it’s totally necessary, you don’t have to like the press to understand why we need it, and it’s the first step in preventing a burgeoning dictatorship. It’s good to have the outspoken Arizona senator on the side of press, and it’s important to have support for the media on both sides of the aisle. Bravo, McCain.
Boost or Burst: Social Media Bubbles
Mark Zuckerberg issued a manifesto last week wherein, among other things, he suggests that the Facebook community will curate its own interaction with current events by teaching the FB algorithms which stories to escalate. It sounds like he’s (maybe accidentally) building a power vacuum by sucking readers away from established news sources, and it’s unclear how this new methodology will handle the inevitable information silos it’s likely to create. Buzzfeed’s got a better idea, one that’s meant to burst bubbles, rather than fortify them. So that’s cool, at least.
Keep it Fresh
On any given day, there are a handful of stories that everyone is reporting on (think, like, every tweet Donald Trump makes, etc). Obviously, big stories are important. But there are only so many different ways to tell the same story. So how can you do it differently? How does one publication stand out from all the rest? One answer: think about the “white space.” That is, think about all the things that aren’t being said about your topic, and all the possible different takes on any given subject. Then write about that. You can use analytics to do it, or social media, or any number of different methods. The point is, when you write what’s not being written already, you’re going to attract readers. And that’s cool.
The Trump campaign released a survey last week. The subject? “Mainstream Media Accountability.” The questions are, predictably, slanted, and they’re aimed at garnering quantifiable support for the undermining of established news orgs. It’s divisive, but that’s not surprising, is it? The good news is that anyone can take the survey, and you totally should, regardless of your political affiliation. Pro-tip: take your time starting at question #10, lest you get caught in the murky verbiage.
This also happened last week: Trump chose a new national security advisor, and people actually really respect the guy. So that’s cool. Even so, if you weren’t already seriously considering moving to Canada, here’s some crucial info that might change your mind. In less interesting news, Ryan Seacrest’s mansion caught fire over the weekend. The cause of the fire remains unnamed thus far, but we’d put money on a combustible bid for relevance from the Seacrest camp.