What's Wrong With "New" Media?

Reuters, Friday, September 23, 2011 12:32 PM
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Business Insider just raised about $7 million -- or just enough to earn the ire of Reuters columnist Ryan McCarthy. Not pulling any punches, McCarthy essentially calls Henry Blodget's media company an unprincipled, blood-sucking, over-aggregatoring chop shop. Sure, McCarthy commends Blodget's staff of 60 for attracting 12 million visitors a month, citing BI's internal stats. "But there's reason to be concerned about what Blodget's team has sacrificed along the way," McCarthy writes.

Ethics and good journalism -- that's what BI is sacrificing for rapid growth, according to McCarthy, who strongly suggests that BI's aggregation techniques regularly "go against the basic principles of fair use." On a deeper level, McCarthy hints at the possibility that venture-backed media companies are predisposed to poor ethics, production shortcuts and ultimately inferior content.

"It's worth noting that venture-backed media companies can very much be in a race against time for growth," McCarthy writes. "Investors want a return on their money and, given the economics of Web news, that almost always requires exponential growth in uniques and pageviews."

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