“What happens when journalism is everywhere?”, Mathew Ingram asked in 2011. Nine years and one Trump term later, the answer is here. A chapter from “Postjournalism and the death of newspapers” (2020).

On November 15, 2011, soon after midnight, the New York riot police started a raid to evict the Occupy Wall Street protesters from their camp in Zuccotti Park, Lower Manhattan. Two hundred protesters were arrested, six journalists among them, including two journalists of the Associated Press (AP). They tweeted the news about their arrest. The event had widespread resonance, both in politics (some compared the police raid in…


Having lost their traditional business to the internet, the news media are forced to sell ‘something else’. But selling something else, not content or ads, makes them sellers of something else, not the news media. A chapter from “Postjournalism and the death of newspapers” (2020).

Years ago, resort photographers had a good business, making beach pictures with the vignette “Greetings from Acapulco 1982”. Now, everyone has their own camera on their smartphone. The quality might be lower than a professional photographer would offer, but it is satisfactory. Or you can check the picture and try again. …


By the end of the 20thcentury, the business model of the media took its last and most optimal form: the media sold news downwards whilst simultaneously selling the audience upwards, to advertisers, creating a “supportive selling environment” (Herman) or agenda. Advertising dominated the business model, providing 70% of revenue and more. Ad revenue was so plentiful that it made media organizations the largest and richest corporations of the late capitalist period, on par with banks or oil companies. (A chapter from “Postjournalism and the death of newspapers”, 2020).

Philosophers have hitherto only explained the world
in various ways; the point…


Fake news is not the principal problem in the new media environment. The impact of fake news is already mitigated by the users’ growing immunity and also by the growing noise that diminishes the potency of fake news’ impact. A chapter from “Postjournalism and the death of newspapers” (2020).

The critical issue of the new media environment is polarization.

With digital media proliferation, the environmental impact of media has imploded. Media are no longer an external environmental force that impacts cultural and other forms of human life; cultural life itself happens to be completely immersed into the media environment.

The…


The news validation within a certain value system is the only remaining function of news business that might have relative use-value for readers. The need for the business to survive forces the media to shift its operational emphasis from news to values. A chapter from “Postjournalism and the death of newspapers” (2020).

The real symbol of the Trump bump is the New York Times. The Gray Lady made unprecedented progress during the first year of Trump’s presidency. At the beginning of the campaign, the New York Times had slightly over 1 million digital subscribers to its news products. The paper…


Herman and Chomsky thought that government and corporate bureaucracies subsidized the media by supplying news, as it was rather expensive to have correspondents everywhere. And they were right. But now it costs almost nothing to get evidence from wherever you need it using the internet and social media. As a result, the bureaucracies now subsidize spam. A chapter from “Postjournalism and the death of newspapers” (2020).

The media cannot afford to have correspondents everywhere where something might happen. They need to rely on other networks through which important information circulates — the bureaucratic networks of government and corporations. …


The topics and discourses that do not support polarization will not circulate in the media for long or will be completely ignored. A chapter from “Postjournalism and the death of newspapers” (2020).

The polarization of stances requires the commonality of topics, in which the stances have to be polarized. In Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels (1726), the deadly clash within the great Lilliput nation was caused by irreconcilable discord regarding which end of an egg should be cracked before eating it. But what united them was the egg.

The classical political economy of the mass media focused on ownership concentration. …


The commercial motives behind the media coverage of Trump remain unrevealed to the public. Business stimuli for the media to cover Trump’s every move contributed to a media environment favorable to Trumpism. Meantime, the media themselves became more and more politicized and contributed to the surge of polarization in society. A chapter from “Postjournalism and the death of newspapers” (2020).

Everybody discusses how the media suffer. Let us discuss how they profit; at least some of them.


Increasingly, the product of journalism will be paid for not by those who consume it but by those who want it to be delivered to others. A chapter from “Postjournalism and the death of newspapers” (2020).

In the media markets of the developed countries, a peculiar phenomenon has emerged, whereby paying for journalism is becoming more desirable than buying its product. The social demand for the news media to continue existing is stronger than the economic demand. …


Radio and television returned vocal signals and gestures into communicating socially significant content. The postmodernist replacement of feelings with intensities goes hand in hand with the replacement of literacy by orality and the retribalization of culture by electronic media. A chapter from “Postjournalism and the death of newspapers” (2020).

Electronic media, as McLuhan noted, retribalized society and therefore diminished the significance and influence of literacy. Retribalization of culture by the switch from literacy media to digital media reverses social communication not just back to orality, but even to the early stages of the origin of language.

The early speech had…

Andrey Mir

Media futurologist, sometimes media futurist, author of “Postjournalism and the death of newspapers” and “Human as media”, Canada

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