John Herrman on the social media power and savvy of the alt-right media, in a piece for the New York Times:
The pro-Trump media understood that it was an insurgent force in a conversation conducted on social media on an unprecedented scale. It understood that its success could be measured by the extent to which it contributed to the assembled millions carrying out their political reading, watching, sharing, commenting and arguing among family and friends.
As someone who has been arguing for publishers to take this very seriously indeed for over a decade now, I feel vindicated. But it’s a really shitty way to be vindicated, isn’t it?
The underlying story of the election in the US seems to be this: the traditional media all spoke with one voice, and said “elect Hillary Clinton”. But too much of America was listening to new voices, who understand the digital age better. And so, all those endorsements came to nothing.
I’m not sure that raging at Facebook is the answer here: that’s just handing Zuckerberg et al more power. Instead, we have to get a lot smarter about how we get our reporting out there.
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