“Can you help me out one second?” asked Jason leaning back in his chair in the almost empty newsroom.
“Something’s not working.”
“I said something is not working,” he repeated but this time loud enough to cut through the noise cancelling in his web producer’s headset.
“Huh…?” she said removing the ear muffs while swirling in her chair.
“The story won’t publish. The Platform says it’s violating the policies on accuracy.”
“Oh, let me see…”
Miriam quickly tapped through the slides on Jason’s monitor.
“You need to add another source. After the whole fake news brouhaha, they insist we source experts on both sides on any subject.”
“God…! Nobody in their right mind can argue that climate change isn’t happening.”
Miriam shrugged, and turned back to her own monitors: “Platform policy, man…”
“I miss the good old days,” replied Jason, mostly to himself.
His and most other news company had moved their publication onto the biggest social media platforms. Frustrated and tired of playing catch up they had given up on running their own websites and apps.
Gone where the days were they wrote bug reports and tickets that we rarely done by the overburdened development department that struggled to keep up with the latest personal data regulation and the ever changing in app browsing that broke the presentation of their stories.
The big platforms provided all of that, but much smoother, better and an audience. And it was free.
All of the news company’s developers and most of the technical people had been let go and replaced with cheaper “content producers” that could reach a wider audience through social media than they would ever be able to on their own platform.
And with no website to build for the editorial developers were also let go. Most were picked up by the platforms.
“This is not the only opinion on the matter,” Jason typed into his last slide before adding the extra source.
Then he just sat for a bit. Sighed and pressed “Publish”.