Vice is already a BigCorp, all be it one with a decent set of fuck-you values.
As it grows it’s enjoying the pains of figuring out what it wants to be, for example the snarky versus we-care dichotomy is increasingly visible. But it’s real challenge as it scales is two-fold: it’s relentless pursuit of the novel in foreign climes risks turning it into an international version of the National Enquirer; and more significantly that what it focusses on with its international reporting and reporting tone relies on owning the conversation and flow of information from those quirkier reportages. It’s a window that is rapidly closing – the subject of their reportage is increasingly able to talk back, and there’s nothing the kid that talks back hates more than not having the final word.
Of course this trend is also impacting established media and news organisations. An Xiao Mina did a decent write-up on what recently surfaced during the Kenyan elections. Vice has long invested in building out an international network that can supply content. But it will impact its larger investments in video, where their editorial team is more likely to be flying in. Will outing the more boring nature of Vice writers/stringers be the double-reverse-419? What role does Vice play in a hyper-connected world.