Stop talking trash about young people

“As with all things media these days, the fate of the space is decided on the platform level. And as with all things media these days, the rest of us have to figure out ways to avoid the falling debris.”

1. Insufferable quote notwithstanding, The Athletic is seriously onto something with its fierce focus on a disproportionately valuable section of the traditional news bundle and building a whole new bundle around that. We’ll likely see straightforward adaptations of the model applied to other valuable verticals whose potential readership are susceptible towards subscriptions. Which will be pretty cool, and will go some length toward reviving some parts of the information food chain. But the model will by no means be any comprehensive solution to making up the fundamental losses in the space.

2. Style-guide changes notwithstanding, major media organizations will continue to publish op-eds that devalue, denigrate, and dismiss the value and substance of younger generations. This is, of course, an expression of the editorial power structure that stands up these organizations. After all, very rarely do the youths have a seat at the decision-making table in such places, even if these organizations purport to report on a world that will eventually be inherited by them — though a world that’s nonetheless being systematically dismantled by the generations before them. And perhaps the op-eds and the disrespect will keep coming until the youths are made to age spitefully and angrily until they become the very bitter people who used to write petty trifles about them, and they too will continue to ruin the world. ‘Tis a vicious cycle.

But perhaps one day there will be a major media organization that does not do this. Perhaps there will be a day when the youths will be afforded a proper institutional voice. Perhaps there will come a time where the youths will be treated with dignity, honor, and respect, and the tragedy of their lost futures will be adequately recorded.

Perhaps, then, will we have a marginally better society.

3. Podcast CPM apocalypse notwithstanding, we’re probably going to see minor revolutions in the podcast industry over the next year. Between Apple’s shifting position as steward of the space and what appears to be increased interest from other platforms — ranging from older digital radio types like iHeartRadio to tech platforms like Spotify — it feels like we may well be in the preamble stage of some Godzilla-level ruckus. As with all things media these days, the fate of the space is decided on the platform level. And as with all things media these days, the rest of us have to figure out ways to avoid the falling debris.

Nicholas Quah writes the podcasting newsletter Hot Pod.

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