Good morning! Today’s newsletter is brought to you by Peter.
If you’re anything like me, you read this headline and thought, “No shit Sherlock.” But Peter Kafka is a very smart man so I knew there must be more going on here and it turns out that a media company already burned by dodgy AI-generated content looks set to double down on the tech.
Earlier this month management at G/O Media – the publisher of Gizmodo, the Onion, and Jezebel – decided to put out four stories that had been almost entirely generated by AI. The stories, complete with multiple errors, ran without input from G/O’s editors or writers, drawing fury and scorn in equal part.
But, you know, those guys just don’t have enough beans to count and according to an internal memo, G/O executives are planning to create more AI content soon. Managers at the company told Peter Kafka that they, and everyone else in media, should be learning how to make machine-generated content. If I can beat the beans analogy to death, may they reap what they sow.
It looks like the billionaire owner of the LA Times might have had enough. Last week, Patrick Soon-Shiong sold sister paper the San Diego Union-Tribune to Alden Global Capital – a company Josh Benton calls ‘the news industry’s closest analog to a serial killer’. Now there are rumours of a deal that would bring The Times into the PMC Media portfolio with Rolling Stone, The Hollywood Reporter, Billboard and Variety. Rich boys and their toys ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Dan Wootton does not sound like a nice man. We kind of knew that from his GB News anti-woke BS, but this investigation exposes a darker side. You can read all the sordid details in the Byline Times. But what makes this sleazy story worthy of a spot in today’s newsletter is the fact that his employers past and present have ignored his behaviour while engaging in a vicious witchhunt of other media personalities accused of much less. Another hit to media trust.
I feel like we’ve been talking about the potential for VR at Media Voices since forever. Chris is a big believer and was pretty bummed by the Metaverse fiasco. I thought maybe this report in Press Gazette might cheer him up, but I struggled to find anything different other than a call to “jump on the bandwagon now”. Give us a reason people, just give us a reason.
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