Recession Winner: Start-up Media Websites
A small group of start-up media websites are refusing to sink with the mainstream media ship and are recording serious spikes in traffic and revenues. Is this the beginning of the global media realignment, or will these media Davids eventually get stomped by newly merged and reorganized Goliaths?
Jessica Vascellaro and Elizabeth Holes report in the Wall Street Journal today that start-ups like SB Nation, Seeking Alpha Ltd. and HealthCentral Network Inc., which "create and aggregate content about topics like sports, business and health," are seeing their traffic and revenues grow while mainstream media tries to figure out what's going on.
New business models allow these sites to create niche content with little financial investment and many are landing distribution partnerships with big media brands hunting for cheap content. Similar to the Gawker Media model, SB Nation recruits the authors for its blog and pays them based, in part, on the popularity of their posts, which ensures that survival is not predicated on massive adverting revenues, according to the Journal.
But this is not the say small media sites have it that easy. In addition to the intense competition for advertising and eyeballs, "the Web is flooded with niche-content sites, relatively few of which are likely to become profitable businesses...But this new model of targeted content that can be assembled cheaply could become popular as advertising growth slows and consumers spend more time across multiple sites."
At the same time, established media companies are becoming more experimental when it comes to working with online brands. According to the Journal, Hearst Corp. announced a partnership last week with Helium, an online writing site that fosters freelance journalism. The partnership will let Helium writers contribute in an as-yet-to-be-determined role to Hearst newspapers."
Big Think is interested to hear how you digest news and information on the web. Do you rely on established media brands, or are you scanning start-ups offering content specific to your interests? Email me at email@example.com
Pfizer's partnerships strengthen their ability to deliver vaccines in developing countries.
- Community healthcare workers face many challenges in their work, including often traveling far distances to see their clients
- Pfizer is helping to drive the UN's sustainable development goals through partnerships.
- Pfizer partnered with AMP and the World Health Organization to develop a training program for healthcare workers.
Swiss researchers identify new dangers of modern cocaine.
- Cocaine cut with anti-worming adulterant levamisole may cause brain damage.
- Levamisole can thin out the prefrontal cortex and affect cognitive skills.
- Government health programs should encourage testing of cocaine for purity.
Civil discourse has fallen to an all time low.
The question that the American populace needs to ask itself now is: how do we fix it?
Discursive fundamentals need to be taught to preserve free expression
In their findings the authors state:
upholding First Amendment ideals.
Talking politics at Thanksgiving dinner
- Progressive Activists: younger, highly engaged, secular, cosmopolitan, angry.
- Traditional Liberals: older, retired, open to compromise, rational, cautious.
- Passive Liberals: unhappy, insecure, distrustful, disillusioned.
- Politically Disengaged: young, low income, distrustful, detached, patriotic, conspiratorial
- Moderates: engaged, civic-minded, middle-of-the-road, pessimistic, Protestant.
- Traditional Conservatives: religious, middle class, patriotic, moralistic.
- Devoted Conservatives: white, retired, highly engaged, uncompromising,
It's interesting to note the authors found that:
"Tribe membership shows strong reliability in predicting views across different political topics."
Here are some statistics on differing viewpoints according to political party:
- 51% of staunch liberals say it's "morally acceptable" to punch Nazis.
- 53% of Republicans favor stripping U.S. citizenship from people who burn the American flag.
- 65% of Republicans say NFL players should be fired if they refuse to stand for the anthem.
- 58% of Democrats say employers should punish employees for offensive Facebook posts.
- 47% of Republicans favor bans on building new mosques.
Here are some guidelines for civic discourse that might come in handy:
- Practice inclusion and listen to who you're speaking to.
Civic discourse in the divisive age
dangerously tribal, fueled by a culture of outrage and taking offense. For the combatants,
the other side can no longer be tolerated, and no price is too high to defeat them.
These tensions are poisoning personal relationships, consuming our politics and
putting our democracy in peril.
Once a country has become tribalized, debates about contested issues from
immigration and trade to economic management, climate change and national security,
become shaped by larger tribal identities. Policy debate gives way to tribal conflicts.
Polarization and tribalism are self-reinforcing and will likely continue to accelerate.
The work of rebuilding our fragmented society needs to start now. It extends from
re-connecting people across the lines of division in local communities all the way to
building a renewed sense of national identity: a bigger story of us."
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