In the end, after an rigorous amount of self-analysis, much of it personal (including the thought that it could have helped if he had rescheduled his wedding), Biggar concludes that the idea of NewsTilt is still a good one, a way for journalists to empower themselves. At least, it’s an obviously attractive one to the journalists he exclusively spoke to (see above). But they weren’t the people to do it:

Despite everything that went wrong, I’m pretty sure that what we set out to do can be accomplished, though perhaps not by us. It is certainly the product that journalists want, but simply one we were unable to deliver.

On Friday, Christopher Lloyd, a NewsTilt contributor, responded to Biggar’s post. He specifically attacks Biggar’s argument that having experienced journalists was a detriment, saying that hiring hungry “newbies” to churn out click-grabby posts would turn NewsTilt into “the content farm you claim to abhor.” Good point, but it’s not surprising that Biggar doesn’t grasp that quality journalism takes time: he already said he doesn’t read the news.

Here’s the meat of Lloyd’s takedown of Biggar’s post-mortem, and it’s (of course) about money:

I sense that you and Nathan believe yourselves to have done a tremendously honorable thing by returning the remaining 20 grand of your start-up funds to your investors. No doubt they’re happy to have it back, and should be thanked for putting it up.

Personally, I think the money would have been much better spent compensating the people contributing to the site.


I regard you and Nathan as decent chaps who had good intentions. But from my perspective, you violated the primary principle of what you claimed NewsTilt was about: Putting journalists first. It’s all very well to claim that in abstract. But when it came time to (literally) put your money where your mouth was, once again journalists found themselves at the back of the line.

That’s just my two cents worth. Which, of course, is a pair of pennies more than anyone who wrote for NewsTilt ever received.


Lauren Kirchner is a freelance writer covering digital security for CJR. Find her on Twitter at @lkirchner