How ‘pink slime’ journalism exploits our faith in local news

The disappearance of local news outlets has been weaponized by partisan interests


Ten years ago, I coined the term “pink-slime journalism” to describe the sneaky way companies like Metric Media exploit Americans’ lingering trust in local newspapers to peddle an inferior product. The term is a reference to the controversial paste-like meat byproduct that was, according to reports at the time, supposedly being added to ground beef on supermarket shelves without a label. If the yellow journalism of the 19th century can be defined by the sensationalistic “if it bleeds, it leads” mentality, pink slime is the opposite. It wants to quietly smuggle low-quality pastel goo from a machine into your regular media diet.

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