E21: Ben Smith of Semafor on tech-media hostility, and the past, present, and future of media
Ben Smith is the co-founder of Semafor and author of the forthcoming book Traffic joins Erik Torenberg and Antonio Garcia Martinez for a discussion about the hostility between tech and media, what digital media startups got wrong, analysis of institutions like The New York Times, and what the future of media holds.
Also, check out the debut of Erik's long-form interview podcast Upstream. He most recently interviewed Joe Lonsdale and David Sacks. Subscribe here: https://link.chtbl.com/Upstream
Ben's new book: Traffic: Genius, Rivalry, and Delusion in the Billion-Dollar Race to Go Viral
(3:00) Ben Smith’s book “Traffic”
8:00 Buzzfeed’s cultural impact
(10:00) Regrets around the Steele Dossier
(15:00) Sponsors: Secureframe | MarketerHire
(16:30) Objectivity vs subjectivity in journalsim
(20:00) Left wing vs right wing journalism
(25:20) Tech media
(29:00) Cambridge Analytica bullshit
(33:00) Buzzfeed Uber controversy
(36:30) Tech and media fall out
(49:30) The root of tech vs media dissonance
(1:05:00) Free speech
(1:12:00) “The book is a eulogy to a rotting corpse that got what was coming to it”
(1:15:30) Ads vs subscription
(1:20:00) Future of media
More shownotes released in our Substack: https://momentofzen.substack.com/
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Thank you Graham Bessellieu for production.