I’ve been keeping tabs on Ezra Klein‘s new venture, Vox.com, ever since it went live. I think it’s been long enough to where I feel I can render an opinion.
I am not impressed by the quality of the pieces, not am I impressed by the topics and their rotation. All too often, Vox will pick up pieces from smaller, more specialized outlets and post them as their own story. For example, on Thursday, June 26th, Gizmodo’s Sploid posted a piece entitled: “The best way to peel a whole bucket of potatoes in seconds.” Today, Vox posted a piece entitled: “How to peel a lot of potatoes incredibly fast using power tools.” The Sploid piece featured a video and three sentences, with two linked attributions to their source. Ezra Klein’s post also included four sentences – not the same ones – but no attributions either to the original source or Sploid.
I’ve noticed that a lot about Vox. On the more substantive policy analysis pieces, I’ve noticed a degradation in quality since the move out of WaPo. I haven’t decided whether it is the lack of support from a large newsroom, the lack of the beneficial pressure of competing against other well-known reporters in-house, the lack of experienced newsroom management, the lack of resources of a large news organization, or a combination of the above.
While I realize it is tough to rise to the top in today’s news media, I expected higher standards from Ezra Klein and Matt Yglesias. I would prefer to see a preponderance of serious pieces and a lot less fluff. I would also expect to see strict adherence to industry norms when attributing sources.
While I will still scan the headlines and occasionally click through to read, I won’t consider Vox a prime, trusted source for news in the near future.
As my teen says at times, “I am disappoint…”