Op-Ed: Projections for News Writers Over The Years To Come

As I start to get back involved in the news game, I am starting to remember why my first website was so unsuccessful. Specifically, I am talking about my attempt to enter into and emerge out of the cyber security/hacking news market, in what was already considered a “niche” market – at best. Even today as I browse through my daily news reading list I am finding the same 6-8 sites all publishing the same stories, just using different words. What would be the point of being the 9th?

These websites, authors and journalists are all fighting for the same audience, trying to attract attention for the all same reasons and establish as much credibility as they can with the viewing public. But 2018 has been far from kind to us internet media types. Speaking as a content specialist here, the years of 2015 and 2016 spoiled us all. At no other point in time history were there more people browsing “the web” or seeking out different sources of news/information on it. Millions of bots were flying all across the internet and there was no limit on the type of content people were allowed to share/advertise, nor cap on how much they could spend. It was an unprecedented time in internet history that no one had ever seen before, and almost certainly never will see again.

Following the post election “Fake News” crackdowns by Facebook, multiple “Twitter Purges,” a never-ending “Russian Hacking” investigation and the blacklisting of hundreds of alleged “Propaganda” outlets from major search engines, the internet and internet news will never be the same again.

Fast forward into October 2018 and it appears as though the entire collective world is still suffering from the effects from a post election news hangover. All across the internet site reads are down, internet traffic is down and web-pages across the world are struggling to stay afloat or maintain relevancy. Others, such as myself, have simply decided to close up shop and quit altogether. But not all is doom and gloom, and there will be some light at the end of the tunnel.

You might be surprised to know it but, despite all of the international coverage and outrage, Donald Trump isn’t even half way through his first term in office. If he is elected for a second term in 2020, Trump isn’t even 1/4 of the way through his entire Presidency yet. With this in mind, I put forward that just as internet traffic first started to skyrocket around October 2015, about 13 months prior to the 2016 US Presidential elections, I suspect that internet traffic is once again going to start soaring around the same time – roughly one year from today.

From the perspective of a man trying to enter into the news market for a second time in 2018, I see the calendar year of 2019 as being critically important for news publishers everywhere. I say this because pages reads are only going to continue to decline over the months to come, and Facebook and Twitter will continue to delete/unpublish hundreds of pages/accounts. While some might find this incredibly troublesome or frustrating, I see it as a giant opportunity to begin establishing something new, or to start building credibility for the years ahead. From an evolutionary standpoint, it’s also helping weed out a lot of the competition, which can be construed both positively and negatively.

The way I see it, news publishers are never going to be more scrutinized for the type of content/information they put out there than they will be over the next 1-2 years. While some companies have already established their brand and reputation, others, such as myself, will be looking to set a new bench mark.

Sitting here in October 2018, I’m already feeling the pressure to launch my new platform. My previous site took over 23 months and close to 5,000 hours to build, and at times I still didn’t feel like it was complete enough – or had enough content to “compete” with the industries big dogs. Truth be told, starting from absolute scratch for a second time almost feels overwhelming to me right now. I had thought to launch The Hackers Tribune or Rogue Media Labs by last September 27th, but almost a month later now I’m not even close to getting it off the ground.

From 2015 – 2016 I personally published over 200 articles through various websites, and generated enough content for other authors to produce over 1,000 more. The websites I worked for and with were at the center of the “Prop or Not” list, and for better or worse so was I. In 2017 – 2018, at the full height of the fake news crackdowns, using the essentially the same material/methodology, but only a public name, I manged to get 2 different Facebook News/Media Pages verified and 3 different domains accepted for inclusion into Google‘s news index.

However, now at the end of 2018, my first two attempts at verifying/indexing Rogue Security Labs have both been declined. All my media partners from the past have been so beaten down at this point that it appears as though they have given up entirely, and no longer have any ambition or drive to join me in a new venture or start over themselves. Still though, the fight continues.

Perhaps I am just leading myself on, but I see 2019 – 2020 as a critical turning point in internet history. A time when it will be more important than ever to be unique, factual, responsible and accountable for the type of information anyone puts out there – especially when it comes to international politics and the US Presidential Election. This is why I see a news/media startup as a unique opportunity to begin building a new brand/reputation that no one has ever seen before. Everyone already knows what all the “legacy publishers” are all about, and people either love them or hate them for it. But I also think people are getting bored with it all, and a tired of the partisanship.

Especially given all of the crackdowns against news/media outlets inside the US and out, I believe the viewing public is craving something new/different that they have never seen before. And especially with a lot of the propaganda, fake news outlets and publishers slowly being eliminated and banned offline, at the same time, if you can begin building something new in the midst of all this then it must really say something about your product. For this reason, I embrace the challenge and see the next Presidential election and all the coverage it’s sure to generate as another media goldmine just waiting to be tapped. The key will be gaining a foothold and establishing yourself/credibility before the next media boom really starts to take off in the fall of 2019. Don’t be late 😉