How the Internet Ruined the Onion
Farhad Manjoo isn't a fan of the site's new arch, digital-first, viral model
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Sep 6, 2013 10:32 AM CDT
The Onion's logo is seen in this screenshot from its website.   (The Onion)

(Newser) – Once upon a time, an entire year ago, the Onion was a quaint, weekly newspaper, publishing only the very best fake news. Lately, that's all changed. Readers may have noticed the site getting a lot more biting, a lot more timely, and, to some Slate columnists, a lot less funny. "What happened to the Onion? Two words: The Internet," Farhad Manjoo observes. Last year the editorial staff was moved from New York to Chicago, and many quit. At the same time, the site went "digital first."

"In every way that matters, the people who produce the Onion now think of it as a website, not a paper." That's meant more stories written more quickly, and an emphasis on stories with viral potential—which Manjoo thinks has led to pieces like this ultra-popular column that are "a little scoldy, oversmart, and lacking in much nuance." Then again, "the model that sustained the Onion for decades is simply unworkable in today’s grinding, instant-reaction age. If the Onion published just 20 jokes once a week in 2013, nobody would read it. It would be far too little and always too late." Click for his full column.

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Showing 3 of 21 comments
K.KRANK
Sep 7, 2013 10:54 AM CDT
Farhad Manjoo & Slate ruined the Internet. The Net was awesome before those 2 came along lol
YouAreSOSmart
Sep 6, 2013 9:52 PM CDT
Newsy ruined the Onion. It has become impossible to distinguish serious reporting from satire.
InferiorToYou
Sep 6, 2013 9:30 PM CDT
It was at its best when it was just a local weekly in Madison.