I have to say, I find it funny to be called an apologist for the legacy news industry, as Clay Shirky suggested in an overnight post.
Ask Steve Forbes or Lex Fenwick what they think about that, given my columns of just a few months ago. Or ask Aaron Kushner himself, who was none too happy when I published confidential financials from the company’s pitch deck to investors back in January — and exposed the fact that the company’s bare $6 million in cash pointed to deeper problems. Early on, when I began my Newsonomics analyst work, the daily press took pains to call me a pessimist for my realistic, journalistic take on my own industry.
I call ’em as I see ’em — the dunderheads and the dreamers, and all in between. My quest remains the same: finding new and more sustainable ways to pay good journalists to do their work. To that end, any ill-humored attempt at forensic psychiatry seems like wasted time. (Clay, I have to warn you that delving into the recesses of my mind and motivations can be a dangerous exercise. I’ve been there. A little Left Coast suggestion: Look inward, my friend.) Would it be useful or fair to malign Shirky for the market failures of Digital First Media, to which he has served as an advisor, as that company prepares to be parceled out and sold? I don’t think so.