My family, it appears, are a 'bunch of ugly, sad losers'. My wife is so 'desperate' to leave me that she will '**** the next man she has a drink with'. My beautiful children are, variously, 'pathetic... spoilt... probably adopted' because I am 'unable to get it up... a waste of space... a miserable, untalented tosser'. Worst of all though, my kitchen is 'hideous'. So this is what being trolled feels like... The other week I wrote what I felt was a thought-provoking, if slightly tongue-in-cheek, confessional about my enforced 12-month sabbatical as a stay-at-home dad trying to set up a new business after sudden redundancy.
What does it say about the media that this is the coverage we got about a middle-aged man fighting for his life? Often, when we debate media ethics today, there are a lot of grey areas, but personally I think we can be fairly black and white in this particular case. It tells us that the media places little to no value on fact, on privacy, on respect and on basic human dignity.
Anyone involved in the production of news journalism, whatever their medium, feels assailed by a dizzying rate of evolution. Content creation, distribution platforms, interaction with consumers are all in constant flux. But the annual Digital News Report, launched at Edelman's offices this morning, reminds us that all of that change is attributable to some very familiar forces.
CDs are dead; consigned to the bargain basement of life, nestled alongside corpses of cassette tapes and decomposing mini discs. I'd argue that websites are to news, what CDs were to music. Desktop, website experiences, once the saviour of publishing, are flat as a pancake and pretty soon, like CDs, websites as we know them, will be gone.
Daily newspapers will one day provide the most intriguing episodes in the story of how traditional media was tortured and tamed by the digital new wave. But the winners are starting to draw away from the losers in a race many will not finish. Try this hot four of traditional media companies in Europe and the US.
What's wrong with newspapers? We could spend the next year struggling to answer the question, while traipsing through the undergrowth of the internet, of consumer tastes and news appetite, and of the competition for time, money and advertising. Newspapers are, of course, a format, not a media channel.
It feels slightly retro to be writing a piece about newspapers. Remember those? Silly, old fashioned, cumbersome things that left you with inky fingers and something to wrap your chips in. Believe it or not they're still around, and every day thousands of journalists put their heart and soul into producing them.
This is a story of three octogenarians. It is 60 years since the death, aged 88, of (William) Randolph Hearst, now the world's second most famous newspaperman. The fearsome publisher-cum-politician, who is debited with creating "yellow journalism", was lampooned in Orson Welles' 1941 movie, Citizen Kane.