25 votes

ThinkProgress, a Top Progressive News Site, Has Shut Down

10 comments

  1. [7]
    patience_limited
    Link
    Though this is of most direct interest to U.S. news readers, the continuing consolidation and commercialisation of news sources should be of deep concern to readers everywhere. Without a workable...

    Though this is of most direct interest to U.S. news readers, the continuing consolidation and commercialisation of news sources should be of deep concern to readers everywhere.

    Without a workable paid syndication model, Google, Facebook, and other content aggregators have effectively seized the revenue from newsrooms without giving anything back. This is a genuine tragedy of the information commons - while there are voluntarily paying subscribers, I don't think most causal news browsers have any idea that their daily headlines are now coming from fewer and more commerce-biased sources.

    ThinkProgress was already financially constrained and doing less independent journalism in the Trump era. Nonetheless, it was a reasonably reliable, primarily left-biased news source with consistent reporting on climate change, corruption, and other critical areas.

    10 votes
    1. [3]
      MrGrey
      Link Parent
      I wouldn't say reliable. So many of their articles were borderline clickbait that contained a basis but vastly overstated a single viewpoint on the complexities of the subject. I can't stand the...

      I wouldn't say reliable. So many of their articles were borderline clickbait that contained a basis but vastly overstated a single viewpoint on the complexities of the subject. I can't stand the constant unification of all criticism under the banner of 'biased media / fake news' with no thought or work put into detailing how or who is being referred to. With that said, so many of the organizations have at least one foot on the sensationalism stepping stone to popularity that I can't bring myself to care when they fail.

      15 votes
      1. [2]
        patience_limited
        Link Parent
        I'm not going to disagree with you; I stopped reading ThinkProgress, except for occasional independent reporting, a couple of years ago. Nonetheless, I think that click-baiting was a measure of...

        I'm not going to disagree with you; I stopped reading ThinkProgress, except for occasional independent reporting, a couple of years ago. Nonetheless, I think that click-baiting was a measure of desperation. I know that it was one among many sites that saw huge falls in visits and revenue when Facebook changed its News Feed algorithm, though that wasn't exclusively bad news for all sources. There's been some spin-off activity that may prove even less fulfilling.

        10 votes
        1. thejumpingbulldog
          Link Parent
          Still I feel the increase in clickbait articles and drop in independent reporting is endemic of the collapse of the system in total. I don't think it was even a year ago when those giant cuts to a...

          Still I feel the increase in clickbait articles and drop in independent reporting is endemic of the collapse of the system in total. I don't think it was even a year ago when those giant cuts to a lot of news staffs were done. One specific example I can think of was Buzzfeed News before and after the cuts. They were far from perfect, but they really tried at some independent journalism, I can specifically think of their panama papers reports they ran. (Although they weren't in other forecasts and I'd say a little too willing to look for smoking guns when it came to the presidency [not that I'd wholesale blame them, as it seems many were looking for one back in those heady days]) Still, after the cuts (which Buzzfeed got hit as one of the hardest I believe) Buzzfeed News was all clickbait and mere fraction of what it has used to be, which was a real damn shame. But I think if current trends continue like they have, they and ThinkProgress will be far from the last ones to fall.

          3 votes
    2. [3]
      skybrian
      Link Parent
      If by "Google" you mean Google News, in return for headlines to click on, Google gives news sites significant amounts of traffic for free, so I don't think it's fair to say they don't give...

      If by "Google" you mean Google News, in return for headlines to click on, Google gives news sites significant amounts of traffic for free, so I don't think it's fair to say they don't give anything back? Though no money changes hands, there is an exchange that benefits both parties, or they wouldn't keep doing it.

      The trouble is that it's difficult for news publishers to turn this traffic into revenue, as we seem to be content to discuss the news among ourselves, sometimes without even reading the article. :-)

      5 votes
      1. [2]
        KapteinB
        Link Parent
        I guess publishers would make more money if we went straight to their front pages instead of using news aggregators. Then they could show us ads both on their front page and on the article page....

        I guess publishers would make more money if we went straight to their front pages instead of using news aggregators. Then they could show us ads both on their front page and on the article page. That goes for all news aggregators though, including the RSS feeds that many publishers offer.

        There's also been some controversy about Google using snippets of text and images from publishers without their consent. Some users might not click the link if they feel they've already gleaned the important parts from the summary.

        3 votes
        1. skybrian
          Link Parent
          Google News dropped summaries a while ago. It's headlines only now, same as on Tildes, Hacker News, and Reddit. (There are a lot of images, though.)

          Google News dropped summaries a while ago. It's headlines only now, same as on Tildes, Hacker News, and Reddit. (There are a lot of images, though.)

          2 votes
  2. [2]
    Deimos
    Link
    Emily Atkin (a former ThinkProgress reporter) wrote about the "shutdown" and suspicious immediate re-launch of the site in her new newsletter today:...

    Emily Atkin (a former ThinkProgress reporter) wrote about the "shutdown" and suspicious immediate re-launch of the site in her new newsletter today: https://heated.world/p/this-was-always-about-power-and-control

    5 votes
    1. patience_limited
      Link Parent
      Well, that certainly tends to confirm this narrative: https://www.thenation.com/article/think-tanks-democratic-party/ While the right-wing is flush with cash and taking bolder and bolder policy...

      Well, that certainly tends to confirm this narrative: https://www.thenation.com/article/think-tanks-democratic-party/

      While the right-wing is flush with cash and taking bolder and bolder policy steps, the left is without a consistent cheerleader on policy.

      3 votes
  3. nsa
    Link
    I never read it but its a shame to lose a credible news source. Although I'd really love to see the end of "conservative" and "progressive" news sites. People with different political opinions...

    I never read it but its a shame to lose a credible news source. Although I'd really love to see the end of "conservative" and "progressive" news sites. People with different political opinions can't have different facts as they seem to do now.

    1 vote