Real journalism is a radical act; a month in on Dispatch
Editor’s note: The following memo was sent to Mic staff this morning and is posted here for transparency
It’s hard to believe, but it’s been a month since the launch of Mic Dispatch, our powerful new news show for a moment that’s surely calling for it. On our one-month mark, I’d like to step back and describe Mic’s body of work, and how I think Dispatch begins to realize it.
Mic is changing, has changed, the way traditional news is created, distributed and consumed. Collectively we, the news industry, are in the middle of such a fundamental shift that it’s sometimes hard to see forest for the trees. And sure, there are many digital news outlets that have been built and are thriving and to much credit due. But there are rare few that have taken the important traditional values of news and rebuilt it from the ground up. We, YOU, are one of those few. Make no mistake, creating ‘content’ that works on the internet is not the same as creating ‘news.’ Ours is a business, and a public trust, that is not to be entered into lightly.
The way we see newsmaking, is the way our audiences see the world: diverse, complicated and full of potential. To connect with these audiences in a distributed and social environment, our reporting must reflect the values and voice of those whom we are speaking to. But it must also adhere to standards that demand accuracy and a respect for all views. Our youth-focused core has allowed us to build a trust and connection with those hungry for real news, but in their voice. No pandering, no cat videos -- though certainly not boring. We are a serious player and our journalism is arresting (but not stunty or sensational). We’ve broken big stories and we’ve helped reveal the many movements and moments that are setting the pace for what’s next.
Amongst all the funded news programming in Facebook Watch, Dispatch has one of the highest average watch-times per episode; one of the highest performing overall. And we are in very good company with the likes of CNN, ABC, Univision, and more, so it’s an even bigger compliment. The work is resonating: The first on-camera interview with one of the only known people prosecuted under the FBI’s new ‘Black Identity Extremism’ program, the story of Skid Row homeless and its strong-armed gang-member ‘landlords,’ of Desmond Phillips, whose life was lost at the hands of police in his family home, the voice of the new Democratic Socialist movement vis-a-vis Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Candace Owens and her ‘free thinking’ following, trans athletes and the important discourse on where we go from here, and much more.
Real journalism is a radical act in an environment that’s built for something that only smells like it. Keep finding those untold stories, and reporting them in ways that get you and your audiences as close to the truth as possible. Our world is changing fast, and Mic is on the frontline chronicling those most impacted and most hard at work. From the far-flung corners to the urban centers across our country, wherever change is happening, Mic should be, too.
Congrats to everyone; we must do it again and again and again … .
Other notes to write home about:
- Mic’s Snap Discover daily has 8.5 million unique viewers a month, and our subscribers have surpassed our goals already.