PanThe Nation\"It’s the same horror show that many titans of the old guard have already described in black-and-white terms. Abramson’s interwoven narratives illustrate the stakes of the news industry’s fight to survive in this world. But she evaluates the strategies for doing so using some of the same assumptions that contributed to the predicament in the first place. The end result is a series of journalistic purity tests that no one could honestly pass, even if they wanted to ... There is plenty of truth to this dystopian narrative—particularly as local newspapers disappear—even if its genesis long predates social media. It is also true that the use of digital tools to capture stories and respond to audiences has in many case made journalism more dynamic.
Abramson’s frequent criticism of BuzzFeed and Vice seems to revolve around the fact that neither attempts to emulate the Abramson-era New York Times ... This is, in digital parlance, a hot take. There is little evidence to back it up ... the fundamental tension in Abramson’s book: Are the real merchants of truth those who are prepared to see journalism as a living organism—one that’s cognizant of financial compromises, reflective of political reality, and responsive to cultural shifts? Or should they rather pay homage to at-times calcified ideals, as if journalism were nothing but a monument to better days? \