Newspapers are ‘hollowed out’ and ‘VICE is the savior of news,’ says guy from Facebook

Facebook’s Mike Hudack published a rant “about the state of the media” on his page Thursday. Some choice moments:

  • CNN is “the network of kidnapped white girls.”
  • “Our nation’s newspapers have, with the exception of The New York Times, Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal been almost entirely hollowed out. They are ghosts in a shell.”
  • “Meet the Press” has “become a joke since David Gregory took over.”
  • Vice: “In between the salacious articles about Atlanta strip clubs we get the occasional real reporting from North Korea or Donetsk.” Vice “is so gonzo that it’s willing to do real journalism in actually dangerous areas! VICE is the savior of news!”
  • “The great Ezra Klein” and Vox: “Personally I hoped that we would find a new home for serious journalism in a format that felt Internet-native and natural to people who grew up interacting with screens instead of interacting with screens from couches with bags of popcorn and a beer to keep their hands busy.” But “instead they write stupid stories about how you should wash your jeans instead of freezing them. To be fair their top headline right now is “How a bill made it through the worst Congress ever.” Which is better than “you can’t clean your jeans by freezing them.”

Hudack, whose personal site says he’s Facebook’s director of product management for ads and pages, says he doesn’t know where the blame lies but says “someone should fix this shit.” Asked by a commenter whether “Facebook could help fix this shit,” Hudack replies: “Yes. I do.”

Alexis C. Madrigal from The Atlantic replies to him in a comment:

My perception is that Facebook is *the* major factor in almost every trend you identified. I’m not saying this as a hater, but if you asked most people in media why we do these stories, they’d say, “They work on Facebook.”

“And we (speaking for ALL THE MEDIA) would love to talk with Facebook about how we can do more substantive stuff and be rewarded,” Madrigal writes.

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  • Leslie Threlkeld

    I think the New Orleans Advocate is not a hollowed out shell of a newspaper, but rather a vibrant example of what a city needs. At a time when one newspaper decided to end daily delivery, the Advocate stepped in and answered a city’s prayers. It has in fact added staff and, I am proud to say, doing investigative reporting just as our local government decided we did not need an IG.