Contradictory, confusing, overlapping and innacurate

The destructive power of the press becomes even more marked when spread with new technologies. In the 1850s, the telegraph confronted Americans with a steady stream of virtually instant information: contradictory, confusing, overlapping and inaccurate, it scrambled and intensified the political climate. Today, social media is doing the same. At its heart, democracy is a continuing conversation between politicians and the public; it should come as no surprise that dramatic changes in the modes of conversation cause dramatic changes in democracies themselves.
The Violence at the Heart of Our Politics, by Joanne B. Freeman, 7 September 2018

The Tyranny of Analytics

In the social media age, the measurability and commoditization of content, in the form of traffic, clicks, and likes, has tethered editorial strategy to analytics like never before. The emphasis on quantifiable metrics stacks the news cycle with stories most likely to generate the highest level of engagement possible, across as many platforms as possible. Things traveling too far, too fast, with too much emotional urgency, is exactly the point, but these are also the conditions that can create harm.
From Executive Summary: The Tyranny of Analytics, in The Oxygen of Amplification: Better Practices for Reporting on Extremists, Antagonists, and Manipulators Online by Whitney Phillips, Data & Society, May 2018

The future cannot take time to be properly imagined

Their endless drumbeat of meaningless micro-scoops helped create the impression we are living at the edge of time, where the present is as momentous as anything that has ever occurred. The future, in this context, cannot take any time or energy to be properly imagined.
From Eve Fairbanks' searing critique of celebrity political journalism We'll Be Paying For Mark Halperin's Sins For Years To Come, Buzfeed, 22 November 2017

(And she was commenting on a time before social media.)

Even wider destinies

A newspaper has two sides to it. It is a business, like any other, and has to pay in the material sense in order to live. But it is much more than a business; it is an institution; it reflects and it influences the life of a whole community; it may affect even wider destinies. … It plays on the minds and consciences of men. It may educate, stimulate, assist, or it may do the opposite. It has, therefore, a moral as well as a material existence, and its character and influence are in the main determined by the balance of these two forces.
CP Scott, editor of the Guardian newspaper, 1921, as quoted in

No medium has ever survived the indifference of 25 year olds

If you believe, as I do, that many of those [newspaper publishing] institutions are so mismatched to the task at hand that most of them face a choice, at best, between radical restructure and outright collapse, well, in that case, you’d probably find the smartest 25 year olds you know, and try to convince them that now would be a pretty good time to start working on Plan B… No medium has ever survived the indifference of 25 year olds.
— Clay Shirky, Institutions, Confidence, and the News Crisis, December 2, 2011

Long-term accidents

Twentieth-century beliefs about who could produce and consume public messages, about who could coordinate group action and how, and about the inherent and fundamental link between intrinsic motivations and privation actions, all turned out to be nothing more than long-term accidents. Those accidents are now being undone by new opportunities, created by us, for one another, using abilities afforded to us by new tools. The driving force…is the ability of loosely coordinated groups with a shared culture to perform tasks more effectively than individuals, more effectively than markets using price signals, and more effectively than governments using managerial direction.
— Clay Shirky, Cognitive Surplus, Chapter 4 (last page)