Sarah Ditum:

Eventually, I developed a routine for picking up this kind of work. Every morning started with the Today programme, scanning Twitter, reading the headlines, especially reading the headlines in the Mail, in search of something that I could be mad enough about to write 600-800 hundred fiery words on it.

Being mad was important because the economics of this kind of content required fast output (since timeliness is critical) and high engagement (since this is how editors, and writers, measure success). I write quickly when I’m angry, and anger begets more anger, so people are more likely to share and react. Not everything I wrote when this was my main form of journalism was bad, but only some of it was good, and the worst of it had a dishonesty that made me feel ashamed: I was deliberately riling myself so I could rile other people in turn, and the arguments I offered had a kind of incuriosity, a clamshell quality, where the main thing to recommend them was how impervious I could make them to critique.

I can think of a number of journalists who could describe themselves in just this way if they had the requisite self-knowledge.