Here’s what’s shitty about the media industry right now

Another app (Discors) was just given $1.2 million (including $50,000 from Matter Ventures*) to aggregate news other people create.

This morning I told a photojournalist I couldn’t pay him for his work. It’s likely no one will pay him for it.

Other freelance journalists I’ve talked to say they’re resigned to doing shitty commercial jobs to pay the bills and doing journalism for free.

Not because they love working for free, but because they’re so committed to giving voice to vulnerable people, documenting important events, elevating and informing society, etc.

And nobody’s paying for that these days.

And part of the problem is Silicon Valley raining money onto some stupid new app that rips other people’s work and ignoring companies ACTUALLY MAKING JOURNALISM.

You’re not solving the business model problem by reinventing Flipboard 12 times.

The amount of important work I could commission with 2 percent of Discors’ angel round is astonishing.

The reason Craigslist guy’s $1 million gift to ProPublica is such big news is because it’s unusual for somebody to actually give a shit.

Matter Ventures: “We are looking for ventures … that have the potential to make society more informed, connected and empowered.”

Who does those things? Right! App developers!

If you think this is bullshit, subscribe to Latterly. Every little bit moves the needle for our business. We’re doing this without (and in spite of) Silicon Valley.

Ben Wolford

About Ben Wolford

Ben Wolford is a journalist based in the Middle East. He is the editor of Artificial Intelligence and a quarterly magazine called Latterly.