With One Minute News, “News” in One Minute

Pretending to understand the world, so you don’t have to.

With One Minute News, “News” in One Minute

The youngest, most attention-deficient generation received a new, minor monument to its own fatuity today in the form of … Hey! Pay attention! proudly touts itself as a site offering “bite sized” news, “curated and produced for and by Generation Y.” The site went live today.


The site was cofounded by Doug Greenlaw, a former ad exec for MTV and Viacom. In a run-on sentence unlikely to be completely read by a member of his target audience, Greenlaw announced, “Generation Y is grossly underserved by today’s media and it is incredibly important that they be well informed in a way that works with their busy, mobile lifestyle.”

OneMinuteNews has stocked its newsroom with camera-ready young people who, in a promotional video, promise to make news consumption seem hip and interesting to a crowd of 20-somethings whose attention span has been limited to 60 seconds, tops.

It appears that these young people simply stand in front of a blue-screen, behind which a Times Square-like scene is inserted. Occasionally the host calls our attention to an on-the-street interview, which is inevitably branded as AP footage.

OneMinuteNews plans to unroll social media components and, you guessed it, “user-generated submissions and posts.” The FAQ on the site contains breezy language promising all sorts of things: “Trust us, we have a lot to say,” runs a representative answer. It goes on: “[M]aking One Minute News more interesting is something we’re always working on…. We are also waiting on an interesting weather display. It’s really top secret stuff … would you want an up to the minute sports feed?”

In other words, the bright future of One Minute News will arrive sometime beyond the next 60 seconds. In the meantime, the first commenter on One Minute News’s site had this to say: “One minute is not long enough for some news. Perhaps you could lengthen it to 2-3 minutes.”

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About the author

David Zax is a contributing writer for Fast Company. His writing has appeared in many publications, including Smithsonian, Slate, Wired, and The Wall Street Journal.