This article was published on April 20, 2015

Watch now: How to manipulate the media

Watch now: How to manipulate the media
Eva Novotna
Story by

Eva Novotna

Eva Novotna is TNW’s video platform editor and part of our marketing team. Eva Novotna is TNW’s video platform editor and part of our marketing team.

We’ve just added Ryan Holiday’s talk from TNW Europe Conference 2013 to our TNW Video site and you can watch it right now for free.

There is something broken about today’s media business.

In his talk, Holiday, former head of marketing at American Apparel, digs into the economics of the Web. The business model of many media outlets is now based on producing as many blog posts as conceivably possible in order to generate page views. This shift from quality to quantity has more profound impact on our everyday lives than we think. In order to attract eyeballs, sensational headlines are often used and reality becomes distorted and exaggerated.

He compares today’s media system to that of 1901, where newspaper boys shouted the most sensational headlines they could think of, to sell as many copies as possible.

Holiday likes to explore the possibilities offered by media, so he has performed various stunts. One of his most famous ones was to expose practices on the website Help a Reporter Out. In Ryan’s words, it’s “a Craigslist for journalists” that are too lazy to look for sources. The problem here is that the power shifts from the journalist towards the marketers, PR people, and basically anyone who wants to promote their product.

Ryan pretended to be an expert in many random topics and wanted to find out if media would quote him. How did he get featured in New York Times? And what are some other stunts Ryan performed? Watch his talk to find out.

Watch more TNW Conference videos right now at TNW Video

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