Search This Blog

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Conservative Media

At The Week, Matt K. Lewis writes that conservative media have been moving toward actual reporting, not just opining.
Conservative media has made great strides toward maturity. The Daily Caller, the Free Beacon,Breitbart — they're not merely about conservative opinion, but reported news informed by a conservative point of view. Simultaneously, a large Christian radio company called Salem Communications has, in recent years, acquired (where I formerly worked), Hot Air,Twitchy, Human Events (where I formerly blogged), and Red State. This consolidation will presumably lead to financial benefits involving economies of scale. So far, the new ownership has avoided messing up the good things about these sites, while presumably leveraging the power of negotiating advertising rates on a larger scale.
And then there's the most recent development: the Heritage Foundation's plans to launch a new digital news site next month. It is, perhaps, indicative of how far we've come — of how crowded the market now is — that any attempts to carve out a unique selling proposition inevitably led Heritage to implicitly diss their conservative competitors. As The Wall Street Journal noted, "The publication's target audience will be a group that [Heritage's Geoffrey] Lysaught said is underserved — readers who are 'interested in what's going on in Washington, but they find it very difficult to get trustworthy information.'"
This is not to say they Heritage doesn't have an opportunity to fill a niche. The center-right web market seems to be loosely divided between staid, august publications that provide important, if unsexy, content, and a new generation of irreverent sites which — living in a free market world — can sometimes err on the side of what Reid Cherlin describes as "The Huff-Po-ization of the right('come for the Obama bashing, stay for the busty slideshows and viral videos.')" Sites like The Federalist try to bridge the gap by providing serious commentary that is typically written by young, pop culture–savvy writers. It is unclear whether this is profitable