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July 23, 2019, 2:16 p.m.
LINK: www.huffpost.com  ➚   |   Posted by: Joshua Benton   |   July 23, 2019

Mic was an easy company to make fun of. (I guess I technically shouldn’t use the past tense, since Bustle Digital Group is still churning out content at the URL. But I mean the ur-Mic, the one that laid everybody off and had a firesale of its brand assets last November.) There was such a disconnect between its high-minded rhetoric and its editorial strategy, which — with important exceptions! — seemed largely based on low-grade aggregation of things that make liberal millennials so mad. (Things Mic actually said out loud at some point: Mic “is the Voice Of the Future, and Will Make Millennials Part Of the Political Process.” Mic “is the voice of our generation.”

But Mic was also, in its way, an exemplar of a certain generation of social-fueled, millennial-seeking digital news site, one that got lots wrong but a few important things right. So I’m glad that HuffPost’s Maxwell Strachan went deep in this new piece on what happened to the onetime industry darling. Here are a few of the highlights and lowlights:

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Here’s what ProPublica learned about managing a collaboration across hundreds of news organizations
“Since the project began in 2017, we received more than 6,000 submissions, gathered hundreds of public records on hate crimes, and published more than 230 stories.”
People who are given correct information still misremember it to fit their own beliefs
Plus: “There is no bygone era of a well-informed, attentive public. What we have had in lieu of a well-informed citizenry is what might be termed a ‘load-bearing’ myth — the myth of the attentive public.”
This is how Report for America ended up funding a community Wikipedia editor (!) at a library (!!)
“Do something different and do it together.”