Note to Self

What Happens When We Skimm the News

June 14, 201627 min
Think about where you go to find news. Podcasts? WNYC? The New York Times? Facebook? Twitter? Newsletters? Do you want us to stop asking questions?
Welcome to the Attention Economy. There is fierce competition for your eyes and ears — (thank you for choosing correctly). Media companies know that a good way to find an audience is to write and speak like the people they're trying to reach. It's the reason Buzzfeed, Vice, Mashable and so many others are popular with Snake People.
Identity Media is a big part of why theSkimm — a newsletter that targets Millennial women by rounding up the day's news from Kanye West to Ban Ki-moon — has over 3.5 million subscribers. You might be one of them. This week we talked to theSkimm co-founders Carly Zakin and Danielle Weisberg about how they go about presenting the news.

Identity Media is more than just a business model, it's changing how we consume the news. To try and sort out why this "Skimm" approach to serious stories made her feel a little queasy, Manoush talked to John Herrman. He reports on the media for the New York Times. Together, Manoush and John embark on a mission to answer that age-old question: Do Justin Bieber and Hiroshima belong in the same sentence?
Here's a rundown of links to supplement this week's episode:
The Skimm issue that mentions President Obama's trip to Japan
The New York Times article about the same trip
How the Japan Times covered the same trip
How Buzzfeed covered it, and then went in a different direction
The Politico playbook
A silly guide to generation gaps
In a way, this whole conversation ties into — you guessed it — our Infomagical project. (Did you catch last week's boot camp?) How we consume media and our goals for reading the news can influence our ability to think and communicate. If you want to get in on the project, it's still around for a limited time.
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