I've been thinking about what @shaneferro ello'd about legacy media vs. startups. https://ello.co/shaneferro/post/RbteBaNnf8UjoSgBBB3b9Q
I don't doubt Shane's encounter with her former colleagues, but I still found the story a little bit off from what I've personally experienced. (I'm reflecting here across my own career and friendships with colleagues across the media landscape and I'm not sub-elloing any particular employers.)
In my experience, I haven't seen dismissiveness of startups. Rather, I see terror. I find this to be especially true of rank-and-file reporters who know that the skills they developed covering school boards, or town halls, or whatever, are absolutely not the skills that are valued any longer. They know that if their job consists of competently but unflashily covering a beat, then it could easily be the last journalism job they will hold in their life.
Shane mentions that she thinks the pendulum is about to swing the other direction and she envisions talking to people at legacy organizations in a few years and saying "You're still there? Really?!?!"
I'd say "You're still there? Really?!?!" has already probably been the single most common question anyone at a legacy news organization has gotten over the previous decade. The past decade has been a relentless drumbeat of departures for the Huffington Post, Politico, Yahoo!, the Daily Beast, BuzzFeed, Vox, FiveThirtyEight, Recode, etc. etc.
It has been a relentless stream of pronouncements of demise. And it has been layoffs upon layoffs upon layoffs.
(This is somewhat less true among the sort of organizations that send people to the Financial Follies. Financial journalism is different if you're really selling your product to businesses not consumers. Thus far startups have primarily disrupted the latter audience. But even organizations with stable revenue from professional customers care about their struggles to reach a consumer audience.)
It's not a pendulum. It's a wrecking ball and it's been swinging ferociously into legacy media and carrying away the rubble for more than a decade. I frankly know nobody in the rank-and-file who isn't taking it seriously. Even within the walls of legacy organizations, the legacy skills of reporting have lost their value compared to internet skills. Maybe it comes across as dismissive -- that's one way humans cope with a wide range of existential threats -- but make no mistake: the emotion is fear.