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. (Read more The Onion stories.)