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Acquired | Acquired

About Mediabistro

Mediabistro is a career development platform for media and other digital professionals, offering a one-stop job board and job recommendations engine, along with a premium membership including access to online learning videos and other benefits.On April 17th, 2019, Mediabistro was acquired by Uncubed, terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Mediabistro Headquarter Location

825 8th Avenue 29th Floor

New York, New York, 10019,

United States


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Latest Mediabistro News

I Was Almost Seduced by the NXIVM Cult's Weird Media-Watchdog Group. Here's What I Learned About Not Getting Conned.

Sep 23, 2020

Plenty of life and business opportunities aren't what they seem, but it doesn't mean you can't see through them. Grow Your Business, Not Your Inbox Stay informed and join our daily newsletter now! Email 9 min read In mid-October 2016, I'd been let go from a job as Digital Managing Editor with a prominent regional publisher. It was the third full-time, online position I'd held that decade, each one of them lasting less than half a year. This was hard to square with the long tenures I'd spent in three different print newsrooms throughout the aughts. I'd gotten stuck in the gears of a sea change in how content was manufactured and consumed. Even a website I'd created with a friend to critique contemporary media couldn't quite keep pace with contemporary media itself. My goal at that point became the pursuit of something pure and essential — journalism that was truly in the public interest and animated by a kind of scrappy entrepreneurialism. That's when I saw a provocative ad on generally trustworthy job-postings site Mediabistro for something called The Knife, or The Knife of Aristotle. (Or, depending on whom I was eventually emailing and which of its web and social media touchpoints I consulted, The Knife Media.) The listing described a kind of fellowship opportunity with an independent journalism startup overseen by radical thinkers. Its Twitter bio proclaimed, "The Knife Media strips news of spin so it’s just the news. We rate sources so you know what to believe. Finally, we show media distortion so you’re not misled." The ad is no longer archived, nor is the Knife's landing page. Its social-media channels, which announced the Knife's abrupt closure in August 2018 , are still viewable. Not coincidentally, they ceased posting a few weeks after news broke that an Albany, New York -based self-help organization named NXIVM — which has since  been outed as a cult outfit engaged in all manner of fraud, conspiracy and even sex trafficking — halted its recruitment and membership activity . That's because the Knife was one of many NXIVM spinoffs funded by its wealthy benefactors and envisioned by founder Keith Raniere (who will be sentenced on racketeering and sex-trafficking convictions on October 27) as a way to round out its member retention. It was also a primary focus of a recent episode of HBO's docuseries The Vow , which tells the story of NXIVM from the perspective of those who escaped it, including Mark Vicente, who describes having spearheaded the Knife. So if you're wondering whether I became a disciple of NXIVM and the Knife, the answer is no. But I did respond to the Mediabistro ad, and was elevated to the next steps of the application process. I had email exchanges with individuals integral to the operation. However, I became very skeptical very fast. I began connecting the dots between the Knife and NXIVM. I spoke at length with a blogger named Frank Parlato who'd been trying to expose NXIVM for years and is cited often in The Vow. I even made a half-hearted attempt to ingratiate myself with them undercover. Alas, my correspondence with the Knife concluded sharply when I started asking some tough questions before buying a train ticket up to Albany for its introductory seminar. My cover was effectively blown. In successive messages in late October '16 from "Knife Scholarship Coordinator" Analea Holland (nee Analea De La Fuente, whose Facebook profile and praise for NXIVM leaders like disgraced actress Allison Mack are still viewable), I was reprimanded as follows: "It appears that you believe what the internet reports on us is true. If that is the case, and you are not willing to question what the media reports in general, then yes, it's best that you not pursue this opportunity. We seek people who are able to sort through dishonorable information and distinguish that from ethical reporting." I was ultimately told: "It doesn't seem that you are serious about considering this as a career opportunity so, it's best we leave it at that." As it turns out, and as Vicente details in The Vow, the Knife was specifically created to discredit media that were reporting factually on NXIVM's sordid dealings — and that was before more serious discoveries of enslaving, sexually assaulting and branding female subjects. So what did I learn from all this about my career path and when to spot a bill of goods (or in NXIVM's case, something far more sinister)? A few things.... Location, location, location I love Albany. I graduated from University at Albany. But it seemed unlikely that an insurgent news organization with the Knife's raison d'etre and subversive messaging would coalesce around New York's modest capital city, three hours north of Manhattan. As it turns out, Albany and its adjacent suburb, Clifton Park, were merely where Raniere — who grew up in Brooklyn and upstate Rockland County — settled so he could somewhat fly under the radar while he lured folks in from Hollywood and other metropolises to enrich his organization and embolden his messianiac fantasies. So the next time you're enticed by an entity or recruiter with a lofty mission statement but conspicuously unassuming base of operations, it might be worth considering whether you're about to get derailed. Beware gaslighting Per Psychology Today, "gaslighting" is summed up as "a tactic in which a person or entity, in order to gain more power, makes a victim question their reality." In the past few years, the term has evolved from a relatively obscure shorthand for manipulation into quite the bipartisan buzzword. But when, as in my interaction with Ms. Holland, an affable recruiter snaps back questions about their organization by implying that you're intellectually inferior, there's no other term that fits. You are entitled to perform due diligence on any organization before doing business with or for them, no different than your right to vet a romantic partner before committing to more than casual flirtation. If the appointed representative for that organization strikes a defenisve, "It's not me, it's you" posture before you even get into formal negotiations, it's probably a sign that your counterpart isn't a match, and possibly unstable. Google is your friend The Knife's unstated purpose was to water down defamatory search results about NXIVM, but the internet is like an MRI of an organization's soul. While NXIVM had yet to be investigated by the New York Times, it had been the subject of concerned reporting by  Albany Times-Union  going back to the early 2000s. That, coupled with my efforts to contact Frank Parlato, required the bare minimum of my time before taking anything else Ms. Holland or her employer had to say at face value. We're all in search of innovators and leaders who can inspire us to engage in something meaningful, but you can't suspend diseblief, and there's no excuse for not digging beneath the topsoil of whatever seems too good to be true. Don't follow Elon Musk's advice on everything

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