tatic1_Andrey SuslovGetty Images_cms Andrey Suslov/Getty Images

Don’t Buy Bezosware

Modern newsrooms depend on content-management systems to enable journalists to plan, write, edit, and publish news copy. But with virtually every journalist complaining about their publication’s CMS, major media companies see opportunities to market their own systems to others – a trend that will make a bad situation worse.

PRAGUE – When it comes to news media’s declining health, technology has been viewed as both the cause and the cure. When the Internet upended traditional news organizations’ business model in the mid-1990s, later technologies – from social media to micropayments – formed the foundations of a new model. Today, however, innovation is again threatening journalism’s health – and this time, the damage is largely self-inflicted.

Modern newsrooms depend on content-management systems, which enable journalists to plan, write, edit, and publish news copy. Yet virtually every journalist has a horror story about their publication’s CMS. A few years ago, the online trade magazine Digiday compiled some of those accounts – and painted a devastating picture of lost content and lost time. In the words of one writer, performing tasks in their publisher’s CMS “was a shitshow.”

Major media companies – especially Vox Media and the Washington Post – see opportunity in the CMS chaos, and are now marketing their own systems to others. Why are these organizations suddenly so keen to sell their internal tools to other outlets?

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