Call me cynical, but is Yahoo’s hiring of journalist Kevin Sites quite as groundbreaking as is being made out. Sure, it’s interesting. Sure, it’s even smart, and I completely buy the narrative that has Sites doing something interesting journalistically on the Yahoo platform with a combination of text, audio and video.
But the future of media? I don’t think so. It’s a blog, after all, a very well-promoted and resourced blog, but still a blog. As I’ve said before, Yahoo and its ilk will only become “media” companies when they understand the relationship they have with society, with the law, and with history. Hiring a guy (however talented that guy may be) and giving him a camera doesn’t change that.
This, remember, in the same week that Yahoo handed over details of a dissident journalist in order to conform with Chinese law. So which law is Yahoo the media company going to conform with? Because a news organisation governed by Chinese law is going to be a little constrained, no?