The market for news is broken

Muck Rack Daily

The market for news is broken
November 17th, 2016
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Muck Rack Daily
Hello from Muck Rack, where you can get a snapshot of what journalists around the world are reading, thinking and commenting on right now.

At the Muck Rack blog, Michelle Garrett has a post that both PR professionals and journalists can celebrate in equal measure:

"5 ways to write pitches journalists will be thankful for."

 
Trending
Honestly, people are definitely dumber.

"I think Donald Trump is in the White House because of me"

That's a quote from Paul Horner, the leader of a fake news empire interviewed today in a must-read piece by the Washington Post's Caitlin Dewey (9,555 shares). Nick Lucchesi of Inverse calls it, "'I don't know whether to laugh or sob,' moment 693, of 2016." The Washington Post's Philip Bump is even less charitable toward Horner: "The guy behind  ABC.com.co  tries to take the high ground on his garbage." CNN's Jake Tapper points to the reason Horner believes his stories performed so well: "Guy behind misinformation website on why it's succeeding: 'Honestly, people are definitely dumber.'"

But it's Katie Rogers of the New York Times who twists the knife most painfully here: "Man who writes fake news makes $10,000 a month. Meanwhile, newsroom layoffs announced weekly."

Meet the Theranos whistleblower

One of the most compelling non-election stories of the past two years surrounded doctored research and ignored quality control checks at the once mega-hot bio-tech startup Theranos, as reported by the Wall Street Journal's John Carreyrou. But if behind every great story there's a great writer, then behind every earth-shaking story there's a brave whistleblower—and in this case, it's Tyler Shultz, who Carreyrou profiles in a great new piece (12,000 shares). "The inside story of the Theranos scandal is more personal, intense, and emotional than you could possibly imagine," tweets Carreyrou's WSJ colleague, Dennis K. Berman.

And it wasn't just Shultz who faced intense trials an scrutiny at the hands of Theranos and its CEO Elizabeth Holmes, but Carreyrou himself: "What the co., lawyers, & former Sec'y of State did to intimidate a whistleblower & @johncarreyrou," tweets another Journal colleague, Jenny Strasberg. "Cracking good, incisive read. Just fantastic work from @JohnCarreyrou," tweets the Southern Investigative Reporting Foundation. "Forget fake news," says the Journal's Steven Russolillo. "This is the real deal: Theranos whistleblower shook the company—and his family."

And finally, The Intercept's Sam Biddle has the hottest take of them all: "Elizabeth Holmes is a Bad Person."

But, I mean, don't forget about fake news completely... 

According to BuzzFeed's Craig Silverman, Viral Fake Election News Outperformed Real News On Facebook In Final Months Of The US Election" (23,000 shares).

".@craigsilverman has been doing some outstanding work about the journalistic hellscape of fake news on the web," tweeted Ben Collins of The Daily BeastNew York Times columnist Justin Wolfers has a brutal, economic take on the matter: "The market for news is broken." MSNBC's Chris Hayes says, "There is so so much to pour over in this."

KFMB's Carlo Cecchetto has a not-so-nefarious but enormously convincing reason for the spike in fake news engagement: "Is it because people wanted to believe the headlines?"

And finally, here's PopSugar's Ann-Marie Alcantara on the issue: "lol I can't wait to see how mark zuckerberg responds to this."

Watercooler
Question of the Day

Yesterday, we asked: The name Edwin Edwards might not mean much to you. But the man he defeated in the 1991 Louisiana gubernatorial race on his very day 15 years ago is someone you've almost definitely heard of. (Hint: His named popped up in the news quite frequently during the 2016 election). Who did Edwards defeat?

Answer: David Duke. Congrats to Tracey Parry for answering first. Kudos and honorable mention to the Philadelphia Inquirer's Tom Fitzgerald for knowing Duke's ridiculous campaign slogan: "Vote for the crook, it's important."

Today's question of the day is: Another "on this day in history" question and, once again, we take you back to 1991 (which we mistakenly said was "15 years ago" yesterday. It was obviously 20 years ago. Sorry about that).

On this day in 1991, the first-ever national television commercial aired for what type of product? (Hint: The product is at once both commonly used and not used commonly enough).

As always, click here to tweet your answer to @MuckRack. We’ll announce the winners tomorrow!

Career Updates
Congrats, Anna and Alex!

Reuters has brought on Dow Jones' Anna Irrera to cover fintech for the news organization.

And Yahoo has a new acting head of video in Alex Wallace.

Best of luck to both!

Don’t forget - if you change your job in journalism or move to a different news organization, be sure to email us (hello [at] muckrack [dot] com) so we can reflect your new title. News job changes only, please! Thanks!
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