“The measure of a commercially successful newspaper is not simply how well it reports the big events, but what it does when there are no dying statesmen, bloodthirsty desperadoes, or heinous crimes to write about. Hearst succeeded in New York not only because he knew how to report the big stories, but because he was a master at constructing news from nothing.”

From The Chief: The Life of William Randolph Hearst, via David Perell’s email.

David goes on to say,

“Newspapers aren’t any shorter on a slow news day. People need to stay busy. Advertisements still need to be fulfilled. The revenue needs to keep rolling in.

To that end, the biggest source of bias in the media industry isn’t the perspective a newspaper takes on a story, but its decision to report on a story in the first place. Knowing that, Hearst was a master at taking inconsequential stories and turning them into must-reads. He knew that events only become news once journalists and editors commit to publicizing them.

Are things any different today?”