Last week was a bloody awful one for intelligent, in-depth coverage of the media. First came the news that Fortune has laid off Mathew Ingram, one of my favourite writers on the modern media scene:
I know this first hand, because I am one of them. Just have to pack up my virtual desk and then it's adios, Time Inc.! https://t.co/ckK1oBjsdn
— Mathew Ingram (@mathewi) June 13, 2017
And then came the announcement that Media Briefing is closing:
We have announced Friday that Haymarket will host and own both the British Media Awards and Digital Media Strategies. Their strength and depth in coverage of the media sector will ensure that theses events get the focus and attention they deserve in the years to come. Some of our team will be joining Haymarket so you will still hear from them.
However this plan also means that The Media Briefing will cease.
The Media Briefing has been home to some great talent – Patrick Smith (now at Buzzfeed), Jasper Jackson (now at New Statesman) – as well as two former students, Henry Taylor (now at the World Economic Forum and Chris Sutcliffe (now unemployed…).
There is some hope that something might emerge from the ashes:
— Peter Houston (@Flipping_Pages) June 16, 2017
The uncovered media
It does leave British media coverage in a parlours state. Press Gazette remains locked in the past, journalism.co.uk focuses on journalism skills rather than business analysis. And I can’t remember the last time I saw a compelling piece from Media Guardian — and a quick glance at the media stories on the section page is not reassuring.
At a time when the media landscape is shifting more dramatically than ever before, only Buzzfeed seems to be doing really compelling med reporting. If you haven’t read their piece on the election and hyper-partisan media, you should do so:
This campaign will be remembered as the one in which hyperpartisan coverage by sites such as Another Angry Voice, The Canary, and Evolve Politics – most of which barely existed two years ago – vastly outperformed the traditional media as they were shared by millions across social media platforms. The Sun and the Daily Mail may still sell 3 million copies a day between them, but their decades-long claim to dominating public opinion may have finally come to an end.
In a landscape where political blogs that border on propaganda are outperforming the mainstream media, we can’t even manage a business reporting on ourselves.
What does that say?