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Vice failed because of Vice, not private equity


Vice Failed Because of Vice, Not Private Equity – A Media Operator

When I was a kid, I couldn’t take accountability for anything. I did something wrong, I blamed someone else. I was always…

This is a good counterpart to this week’s podcast, in which Neil Thackray and Peter discuss the extent to which VC funding is responsible for the focus on the shiny and new at the expense of long-term sustainability. In the linked article, Jacob Donnelly takes a look at Vice’s relationship with its investors in order to determine where the blame for that site’s bankruptcy should lie.

He says: “We should not confuse TPG’s investment in Vice with how other private equity firms have gutted local newspapers. Vice chose to take the money from investors and then waste it. These local newspapers, frankly, had no choice. They were truly failing.”

His argument is that it is operators that seek scale — and take funding to achieve that and that alone — that need to take responsibility when that fails. We’ve seen some real howlers when it comes to media founders taking or failing to take responsibility for failures lately (hello, Mr. Peretti!), so it’s great to see Donnelly arguing for absolute accountability where it matters.

Complicity and Nick Cohen: how the British media closed ranks rather than face facts


A British Reporter Had a Big #MeToo Scoop. Her Editor Killed It.

Seven women say that a star columnist groped them or made unwanted sexual advances. But Britain’s news media has a complicated relationship with outing its own.

From what I’ve seen on Twitter Nick Cohen’s awful behaviour was an open secret among young journalists for years, with freelancers actively warned about him. But as this article makes extremely explicit, many many people in top positions across the industry were also aware and simply chose not to report upon it. It’s a terrible look for both the Guardian and the Financial Times – two titles that you’d expect to be better about this stuff.

Only a fifth of newsrooms have generative AI guidelines in place


WAN-IFRA: Half of newsrooms use Generative AI tools, only a fifth have guidelines in place

ChatGPT has made content summaries a breeze, but publishers are still worried about what the tech means for accuracy, plagiarism and data privacy

I’m not an AI catastrophist, particularly around generative AI. It’s a tool, it’s going to create an awful lot of bland, boring art and a fair amount of disinformation. I do think — as I wrote here — that we need a few new roles and responsibilities to deal with it, though. That need has been brought into starker focus here, as Teemu Henriksson explains that newsrooms have been caught somewhat on the back foot by it all.

How creation of ‘narrative culture’ is changing journalism in the UK


Podcast Show 2023: How creation of ‘narrative culture’ is changing journalism in the UK

Press Gazette rounds up hot tips and hot topics from the journalism-focused talks at the first day of the 2023 Podcast Show in London.

I didn’t get to pop over to the Podcast Show this year — but I wish I had, solely for the discussion of the different expectations guests have when agreeing to appear. The prevailing wind, apparently, is that podcasting is primarily an entertainment medium and so isn’t a place to do investigative, hard-hitting interviews. Many of our News and Politics Podcast Award winners would beg to differ.

More from Media Voices


Big Noises: Neil Thackray on why content is not king

Neil Thackray talks about the myth that content is king, the failures of publishing leadership, and how companies have lost the ability to differentiate.


PPA Festival Special: How publishers are future-proofing audience relationships

At the PPA Festival, we spent the day finding out how publishers are future-proofing audience relationships.


Buy the Media Voices team a coffee

Last month nearly finished us off, but it was so nice to be able to catch up with many of our industry friends. If you fancy kicking us a virtual coffee, it really helps keep us going.

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