When the predictive superstar Nate Silver announced last summer that he would defect from the New York Times, it began a wave of new, new money-backed “personal brand” journalism startups that launch in earnest with FiveThirtyEight on ESPN next week. This was supposed to be a good thing. “A very luxurious situation” indeed.
When word leaked a few months later that the billionaire eBay founder Pierre Omidyar would be joining forces with Glenn Greenwald, he had to clarify that the then-unnamed First Look Media would amount to something bigger than one man, a “long-term effort to build a new and exciting platform for journalism” and contribute to “the greater good”.
When political pundit Ezra Klein left the Washington Post earlier this year for a new “Project X” in explanatory journalism backed by Vox Media, he told the Times, “We are just at the beginning of how journalism should be done online.” Oh, and “we’re hiring”!
Well, Project X may now be called Vox, but the great VC-backed media blitz of 2014 is staffed up and soft-launching, and it looks a lot more like Projects XY. Indeed, it’s impossible not to notice that in the Bitcoin rush to revolutionize journalism, the protagonists are almost exclusively – and increasingly – male and white.
To read this article in its entirety visit The Guardian.