9 things I want from the media start-ups

[This post adds more ideas to my related post in September]

In the last few months I’ve read about a few political media start-ups and more over the last few years.

During the election, I was so frustrated by the type of coverage — never more time to fill, yet so little said. Pundits repeating themselves show after show while they interrupted each other. Endless clickbait from Politico and others. (Credit to PBS News Hour, VICE, and John Oliver for doing things differently; and Van Jones and Jake Tapper despite being on CNN.)

It was infuriating. I essentially stopped watching cable news and closely reading the political sites 12 months ago. Ironically, I feel no less informed (and now have more time to watch Judge Judy and Family Feud).

I’m thrilled a handful of folks wants to try something different. Here is what I’d like to see:

  1. Slow the fuck down and have an actual conversation with a normal amount of people.
  2. Engage voices outside of traditional politics and punditry. Want to cover Obamacare? Get some doctors, patients, nurses, and hospital administrators into the conversation.
  3. Stop covering so much of the political angle and start covering more of the human angle.
  4. Stop trying to fit your ideology into every situation — come at situations and issues individually. Bias and ideology are fine, and news with a POV is valid and needed, but dont do it blindly and universally. It’s annoying and not credible and not helping anything other than volume of retweets.
  5. Create in a way that doesn’t just talk to those already listening — create in a way that deliberately seeks to engage those who are frustrated, confused, tired, disenfranchised, or apathetic.
  6. Cover far less “twitter trending topics” — the faux outrage, some overhyped twitter feud, or other nonsense. Instead, cover things that we may not have noticed or wouldve paid less attention to or cover from a unique angle. ATTN: does a good job of this.
  7. Less white, privileged, 50 year old+ male perspectives.
  8. Have a larger sense of purpose for existing.
  9. Deliberately work to build a sense of community among listeners — not just with the show, but with each other. Imagine the value of an awesome media platform combined with a vibrant, grassroots, mission-driven infrastructure.

I believe that if a media company stays ruthlessly committed to these principles — and ruthlessly guards against the success theater, seduction, and empty calories of clicks, listeners, and tweets — it would not only make money, but it would actually make a difference in people’s lives.