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Digerati Literati

"In digital media, technology is not a wingman, it is The Man," writes David Carr in The New York Times (1/27/14). David’s comment comes by way of insight into why so many big-name journalists (Ezra Klein, Walter Mossberg, Kara Swisher, David Pogue, Nate Silver) are leaving major daily newspapers (The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times) to find their futures on the web. "We are just at the beginning of how journalism should be done on the web," says Ezra Klein, who just left the Washington Post to join Vox Media.

"We really wanted to build something from the ground up that helps people understand the news better … we want to improve the technology of news, and Vox has a vision of how to solve some of that." Vox chief executive Jim Bankoff says it’s not about "journalists going to a digital site and doubling their salary." He says Ezra and others "have a vision of creating … a better way of doing things and we like to think that we are using technology in service of creativity, journalism and storytelling." It’s not just that newspapers are bureaucratic and burdened by high overhead.

Among other things, "digital journalists consume and produce content at the same time, constantly publishing what they are reading and hearing." For another, they "are often able to get their own hands on the button to publish, which is exciting and gratifying." "Digital journalism is as different from print and TV journalism as print and TV are from each other," says Henry Blodget of Business Insider. "Few people expect great print organizations to also win in TV. Similarly, few should expect great TV or print organizations to win in digital."