The Atlantic has produced some superb writing on the fundamental changes the social media platforms have undergone this year and this is no exception. In fact, I think it might be their best yet.
Brian Merchant argues that the tech giants that have shaped our lives, both online and off, have at last hit a wall. Amazon, Alphabet, Microsoft, Meta and Apple have all seen their valuations fall this year, with many slashing their workforces. They launched with promises to connect the world, democratise technology and to make information free to all, but instead have embraced profit over safety, market expansion over integrity, and more.
There are some really fantastic paragraphs, but I’ll leave you with this one as a taster: “You can just feel it, the cumulative weight of this stagnation, in the tech that most of us encounter every day. The act of scrolling past the same dumb ad to peer at the same bad news on the same glass screen on the same social network: This is the stuck future. There is a sense that we have reached the end of the internet, and no one wants to be left holding the bag.”
Talking of The Atlantic, this piece popped up just before Christmas. The publisher is rolling out a new dynamic paywall offering varying subscription prices this month as it hopes to reach a milestone 1 million print and digital subscribers by the end of the year.
Usually the gap between Christmas and New Year is dead quiet for good pieces but this year I’m spoiled for choice. For The Guardian, Sophie Zeldin-O’Neill looks at what is driving the popularity of live podcast shows. Most of the examples given here are celebrity podcasts, which doesn’t help with drawing learnings out. But the rise of live shows is something we’ve seen publishers take advantage of too.
Amidst the backdrop of record heat across Europe and ecosystem destruction globally, newspapers and broadcasters are gradually ratcheting up their climate coverage. Chris Sutcliffe rounds up the year in climate journalism as part of our Media Moments 2022 report.
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