The Deadspin debacle highlights the growing problem of what Slate accurately calls “zombie” publications. We are going to see more of these publications as media owners struggle to balance their desperate, short-term greed with long-term value.
“Trustworthy brand-name publications are being hollowed out and refilled with unpaid “community” contributors or low-paid, less experienced professionals who don’t have the stature to challenge editorial imperatives or productivity quotas that generate useless, often-inaccurate content. This kind of zombification is happening right now to Sports Illustrated and has already happened to Newsweek; it’s even happened to parts of BuzzFeed, which didn’t even exist until this century.”
I would add my own previous publication to that list. All the good will and value has been destroyed and replaced with faux experts and sponsored posts. Having being around digital media from the earliest days — the early 1990s — I can tell you that the “Adults in the Room” are anything but. The sad part is that the journalists can read the tea leaves, but they still don’t understand the business. The adults just want to get paid — a lot. They want to get their bonus. Rinse and repeat. Sad.