Getting profiled in a major publication, like the New York Times is still a big deal in my book. When Joe Weisenthal, then at Business Insider, was featured in a piece at the New York Times, I thought that was way cool. This weekend, Shane Parrish, proprietor of Farnam Street, got profiled in the Times. I noticed a number of people on Twitter tweeting congratulations and re-tweeting the piece to their followers.
The major news organizations still have an authority that a blogger, like myself, simply can’t have. A recent study of financial journalists shows that on the whole they are trying to create accurate and original material. If it weren’t for organizations like the Wall Street Journal, who knows, maybe Theranos would still be up and running.
Many people have asked me why I continue to include articles from mainstream news organizations in my linkfests. (They don’t like hitting The answer is simple. I included those pieces because I thought they were interesting and/or informative. Pretty simple.
Unfortunately many of us have grown up believing that if it’s on the Internet it should be free. For some reason we have been conditioned to subscribe to our entertainment, like Netflix and Spotify, but not to our news. That is a shame because in a very real sense, the press is unique in that it plays a vital role in civic life. As Josh Brown at The Reformed Broker wrote:
When I look at all the monthly subscriptions I pay, and all the recurring charges, the ones I am most proud of are my subscriptions to newspapers (digital, but nonetheless). I think of them like taxes, doing my part as a citizen to support the free press that holds the nation’s leaders accountable to us. It’s my favorite tax to pay. I am currently a paid subscriber to the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and Barron’s.
Howard Lindzon had a similar response. In addition to some free resources he uses to track his investments and the broader technology industry and people he follows on Twitter and StockTwits he added another:
I took the plunge just today to pay for The New York Times. They don’t need me as a subscriber and I do not like most of their opinion and adtech tracking, but I am so pissed at The White House attack on facts and free press that I want to pay.
I don’t care for the term “fake news,” because it implies that there is something out there called “real news.” No source, mainstream or otherwise, cannot be relied on 100%. However as informed citizens, consumers and investors we need to make these judgments. There are no shortcuts.
*For the record I have paid subscriptions to: WSJ, FT, NYTimes, Washington Post and local news outlets as well.