48 Min Released Oct 13, 2018

166. Manoush Zomorodi (journalist) — How blockchain might save journalism. Maybe.

Why would two intelligent women running a hugely successful podcast at one of the most respected studios in the audio world, quit to start a small journalism company built on blockchain, a technology very few people have ever heard of?

To quote someone on Twitter yesterday paraphrasing Bill Clinton sounding pretty harsh, actually: "It's the business model, stupid."

As we keep learning the hard way, as long as we get our journalism from Facebook and 24 hour cable news, we're suckers for infotainment, propaganda, and actual fake news—not the real news Trump is always calling fake, but the real fake news trolls cook up to polarize American culture. And in these raging digital waters, non-profits and public media struggle just to stay afloat.

There's got to be a better way, right?

Manoush Zomorodi and Jen Poyant thought so. Partners on the podcast Note to Self, they left to start Stable Genius Productions. It's part of Civil, a new blockchain journalism platform. For reasons we'll try to explain, blockchain has the potential to bring us better, more independent media. Better, more independent everything, maybe.

That's what Jen and Manoush were betting on, anyway. They document the twists and turns since that fateful decision with refreshing vulnerability on their podcast ZigZag. Its second season started on October 11th.

Surprise conversation starter clips in this episode:

Maria Konnikova on poker strategy

Derek Thompson on what makes a pop song addictive


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