Post navigation

Prev: (06/21/16) | Next: (06/21/16)

The Uberization of Seattle news

Those $54 bottles of award ceremony wine aren't going to buy themselves

Those $54 bottles of award ceremony wine aren’t going to buy themselves

Wednesday, District 3 representative Kshama Sawant will present a resolution to a committee of the Seattle City Council recognizing that the local media landscape is all hosed up and confusing:

Public broadcasters have a legal – and moral – responsibility to inform the public in times of emergencies. It is in those times of need that the local community relies on professionals at local news stations like KING 5 and others. Tegna, the company that recently took over operations at several stations such as KING 5, is replacing those professionals with amateur citizen reporting. Local leaders believe that would jeopardize the public safety at a time when professionalism and experience are most critical in maintaining the public trust.

At the heart of this — out of all the things to worry about in the death spiral of legitimate local news — is an app and crowdsourcing effort being rolled out to turn “citizen journalists” into cheap freelancers that has sprawling broadcasting conglomerates salivating. The app and the direction it represents are summed up as the “Uberization” of local news in the announcement of a Wednesday morning press conference featuring Sawant, various Council members, and union representatives.

We’re not expecting a resolution but CHS certainly plays a (puny) role in the changes underway.

Over the weekend, CHS was recognized for the efforts, winning for best Spot News Reporting, Small Daily Print and Online at the Society of Professional Journalists 2015 awards for the Pacific Northwest region for our coverage of the mayhem — and context — around the 2015 May Day riot on Capitol Hill.

It was a great recognition of the work, planning, and reporting we put together that May Day. It’s also the best possible award we could win. Our mission is to be here with you day in and day out to help you understand what is happening — big and small — around Capitol Hill. We’re also constructed for survival in the twisted media landscape described above — Bryan Cohen and Alex Garland who shared the award with me Saturday night are freelancers. Uberization? I hope not. But it is something different, indeed. We’re trying to do the best job with it that we can. Thanks for reading.

Want to help support CHS’s great freelancing writers and photographers? Get an “honorary subscription” today.

Subscribe and support CHS Contributors -- $1/$5/$10 per month

8 thoughts on “The Uberization of Seattle news

    • Twitter is not a news source. It’s an agent that relays people to the actual stories on news sites. Without these, the only news we’d get would be from memes.

  1. Laughing at the irony of people shunning citizen run social media as a news source as they get this news from a citizen run social media website.

  2. I think the professionalism of the local news stations has been going down hill for years. It’s becoming a joke to listen to some of these reporters make statements that are completely incorrect. Stating things like “this has never happened before in Seattle” when it’s something that happened 10 years ago – or referring to Belltown as South Lake Union – ugh. These people obviously don’t know this place, don’t do their research, and don’t hear themselves when they speak. Some days it’s like a sorority/frat hang-out sesh of giggling and joking at the news desk, it’s just insulting to the viewer that they seem to be targeting a high school audience. Even worse to see them flout their awards in their commercials, I’d hate to see what they are being compared to to win them.

    More often than not, I’ve gone to CHS to find reports of things happening that was nowhere to be found on the local news sites. If citizen run reporting is the only place that we can hope for some quality and journalistic integrity, then lets put the focus on supporting them.