Don’t bang your head against a (pay)wall.

The way we obtain and consume media and information in the modern era is broken. To those who have heard this phrase from me time and time again, sorry for beating a dead horse. Whether it’s a matter of accessing it, interpreting it, or acting on it, the news alone has become a broken tool for business intelligence.

  • Are you smarter than… an American: How fast does the average executive read? (answer below)

Talk show host Conan O’Brien summed up the frustration of accessing paywalled content in a tweet: “Just read a fascinating New York Times piece that claimed I’ve reached my free article limit for the month.”

While the average business executive needs a certain amount of information to make decisions, they don’t need all the information to function in their daily lives. And yet, the news media needs us to need all of that information, vying for our attention with clickbait headlines and punchy social media posts.

  • Here’s a piece of info: Veterans Day falls on the anniversary of the end of World War I — but when was the last time 11–11 fell on a Thursday? (answer below)

Before social media, news media functioned as gatekeepers: bringing a level of expertise and balance to information before it landed on your porch. However, the number of newsroom copy editors fell 62% from 1998 to 2015. There are fewer gatekeepers today to ensure the news is factual, relevant, and important. As social media evolved over the past two decades, news could be found with the punch of an “Enter” button.

News consumers need a guide. Someone (or something) to cut through the newsfeed noise and straight to the news relevant to your business and industry.

  • The outlook is bleak, or is it?: What simple phone setting do experts recommend you change to cut down on doomscrolling? (answer below)
“Vaccine hesitancy has been a growing challenge for more than a decade. Concerns about vaccine safety and adverse events are the most commonly cited reasons.” How cognitive biases and adverse events influence vaccine decisions (maybe even your own) / The Conversation / Source: AP Photo / Rogelio V. Soli

WHAT I’M READING

Between paywalls, junky content and biased news, who can be trusted? Even those so-called reputable trade magazines can lead us astray with provocative headlines, as some of those attending the U.N Climate Summit in Glasgow demonstrated this week. Trust Is Hard to Find at the U.N. Climate Summit in Glasgow — The New York Times — November 9, 2021

Say goodbye to top-down decision-making because collaborative, actionable leadership is here to stay. Key leaders are finding that bringing in a young ambitious “disruptor” to encourage a change in company culture doesn’t yield worthwhile results. Here’s why: No, Your Company Doesn’t Need a “Disruptor.” Try This Instead — Next Big Deal Club — November 11, 2021

YOU WON’T READ THIS ANYWHERE ELSE

Decision-makers are spending time reading bad thought leadership content. It’s everywhere, and it’s growing. But people are craving good content, that’s why they keep reading for over an hour each week. Based on Edelman’s study on the flood of “yawn-inducing” thought leadership content, there are a few keys to success — being authentic, unique, and provocative. Not another thought leadership article… sorting the wheat from the chaff — PM Live -November 11, 2021

It’s official…robots are taking over the world. Chatbots are leading the way when it comes to identifying messaging trends in suicidal individuals. The bots are being trained to detect logic styles and common phrases utilized by those experiencing suicidal thoughts, in order to offer proper guidance and resources. We studied suicide notes to learn about the language of despair — and we’re training AI chatbots to do the same — The Conversation — November 11, 2021

TRIVIA ANSWERS

  • The average “high-level executive” reads at 575 words per minute according to a speed-reading test sponsored by Staples. The average adult reads at 300 words per minute. (Forbes)
  • The last time Veterans Day fell on a Thursday was 2010. Eleven years ago…and today’s date is 11–11? That can’t be a coincidence.
  • Experts have found that switching your phone from full color to grayscale can lead to less doomscrolling. (Wall Street Journal)

Founder/CEO of Turbine Labs. I write about information access, overload, and bias, as well as our AI-powered software. (turbinelabs.com / @turbinelabs)