Tag Archives: Technology coverage
Andy Plesser of Beet.tv interviews Erick Schonfeld, co-editor of the tech news site TechCrunch about its video operations.
About ten percent of consumption of TechCrunch videos are on mobile, about 5.4 percent on tablets and 4.7 percent on mobile devices.
Ryan Chittum of the Columbia Journalism Review has a good analysis of where the business media fell down when writing about the initial public offering of social media company LinkedIn.
Chittum writes, “Unfortunately, the WSJ short-arms this story. It doesn’t give us key data that it should have to fully tell the LinkedIn valuation story. Where’s the revenue number, for instance? That’s basic, must-have stuff, and it’s not here.
“The only numbers we get are that LinkedIn had a $15 million profit last year and, that ‘The sale of hiring tools to recruiters made up 49% of first-quarter revenue, up from 27% in 2008,’ which means just about nothing without context, and user numbers, which have gone up an impressive tenfold in four years and are still growing fast.
“If you combine the WSJ’s LinkedIn story with ones in The New York Times and Financial Times today, you’d probably come up with a pretty good piece. On its own, though, the NYT and FT fall short, too.
“The NYT buries any mention of concerns over tech valuations in the third-to-last paragraph.”
Read more here.
Anthony DeRosa, the Reuters media product manager, weighs into the current conversation about conflicts of interest that journalists covering the tech industry encounter — or thrust upon themselves.
DeRosa writes, “Many of the same people writing about these startups are good friends with the principals, and the nearly flawless fawning coverage reads more like an extended arm of their public relations group than anything resembling real journalism.
“On top of that you have people who hop between being journalists and working as either advisers or evangelists who participate in promotional events for products. The conflict of being an adviser or an evangelist is obvious, diluting the person’s journalistic ethics and their ability to be impartial.
“The participation at various events can be harmless in some cases if it’s simply to cover the event and gain information about a product. Too often, though, the participants wind up becoming a shill for the very product and, in fact, in some cases, are even used in the promotional material. They also make their affinity for the product or service known through social media. These folks can no longer be taken seriously on any journalistic level.
“Would disclosure help fix this problem? If there was better transparency of the investors, would the relationship the writer has with their subjects lead to a more informed reader who could take those biases into account when reading an article? In a study I was directed to by Boston.com’s Courtney Humphries, the answer is that disclosure may actually make writers less ethical.”
Read more here.
Michael Arrington, the editor and founder of TechCrunch, responds Saturday to criticism he’s received from others in the tech media for hid disclosure last week that he’s investing in tech companies.
Arrington writes, “Look, I’m still new to this journalism thing. I treat our readers the same way I’d like to be treated. With full and complete disclosure. I’m really sorry if that upsets the old guard. But the reality is this. The people complaining the most are the people who are the most deeply conflicted. They’re the people who are, at best, vague about their own conflicts of interest. Right and wrong don’t seem to be concepts they worry about too much. Nor do they seem to be overly concerned with hypocrisy or even the basic underlying lack of logic in their rants.
“Really, it all came into focus for me this week. A major news publication asked for ‘my side’ after all this complaining. I spent a half our on the phone with him at his request. And he never wrote. Why? ‘My editors want to leave Arianna dangling in the wind,’ he said, referring to the fact that Ariana Huffington, my boss, was taking heat for this situation. It never occurred to him that he just killed a story because that story might help a competitor (Huffington Post), and how screwed up that was.
“I have little hope for this industry until the last of the old guard have finally been put down. They do NOT control the news. They do NOT control opinion. They do NOT get to say who gets to write content and who doesn’t. And they do NOT get to rant about their ethics when they constantly fight against simple transparency.”
Read more here.
Reuters announced Wednesday that it is launching an online service offering live video access to breaking and scheduled news events to outside publishers, reports David Kaplan of PaidContent.org.
Kaplan writes, “The service, dubbed Live Stream, has been tested with launch partners The Tribune Company and Australia’s Fairfax Media. It got its big debut last week when the NYTimes.com made use of the live video from the Royal Wedding in the UK, even though the New York Times has not officially signed on as a regular client. (Though the NYT is considering doing so, one source told paidContent.)
“For the past few years, Reuters has been working to build up its multimedia offerings on both the general news and financial professional sides. Video has played a big part in that.
“Most recently, the company a deal to distribute paparazzi-style video site Hollywood.TV’s content to its clients. That was aimed at drawing more general consumers to its site. Before that, for the more professional, not-necessarily-financial market oriented users, Reuters introduced a Rocketboom-like video series.
“And to make sure that it hasn’t forgotten its roots, a year ago, Reuters unveiled ‘Insider,; a VOD platform intended only for investor-audience subscribers.”
Read more here.
TechCrunch editor Michael Arrington, in an interview with Business Insider’s Nicholas Carlson, defends his investing in companies in which his site covers and says a bigger ethical issue is the friendships that many who cover the tech industry have.
Here is an excerpt of what Arrington said:
“I read an article this morning. It was saying [all this worry about investments being a conflict of interest is] kind of ridiculous because this is actually one of the smallest conflicts that tech journalists really have, but it’s one that people really freak out about.
“It talked about [how] friendship conflicts are the real issue. And they are. We all have our friendships and the people who have done right by us. And I’ve written about this before, that’s the real issue and there’s not much you can do besides trying to be an educated reader.”
Read more here.
Xconomy, a business and technology news service in major cities across the country, announced Monday that it will enter the New York market.
Editor in chief Robert Buderi writes, “While New York is of course full of media companies and great reporters and editors, we nevertheless believe Xconomy fills a special void. Not only are our daily feature stories deeper than the norm, we don’t limit ourselves to information technology, the way most tech outlets do. We cover biotech and life sciences like few others. We cover cleantech. In short, we cover anything high-tech, because that is where growth in the economy is coming from—and new growth often arises from the boundaries or intersections of these traditional fields.
“Xconomy New York will be led by author and former BusinessWeek senior writer Arlene Weintraub. Arlene, who has won awards from the New York Press Club, the Association of Health Care Journalists, and the American Society of Business Publication Editors, among others, first joined BusinessWeek to cover the tech scene in Los Angeles during the Internet bubble days. Then she moved to the New York office, where she quickly established herself as one of the country’s leading writers on pharma, healthcare, and life sciences. Her book about the anti-aging industry, Selling the Fountain of Youth, was published by Basic Books last September. We are extremely fortunate to have Arlene join us fresh off her book tour.
“Arlene, of course, will be supported by the rest of Xconomy’s world-class staff, all of whom will be contributing to Xconomy New York. (Please read more about our team, as well as our principles and ethics, on our About page.)”
Read more here. Xconomy, which is based in Boston, also has bureaus in Detroit, San Diego, San Francisco and Seattle.
The staff of the Engadget tech news site that has been run by AOL is leaving — or has already left — to start a new site, reports David Carr of The New York Times.
Carr writes, “Like many of its peers covering Silicon Valley, Engadget worked as a kind of permanent start-up, with 16-hour days to compete in the always-on news cycle, but AOL treated it as one more niche site. ‘We have been working on blogging technology that was developed in 2003, we haven’t made a hire since I started running the site, and I thought we could be more successful elsewhere,’ said Joshua Topolsky, who was the editor of Engadget until the middle of last month.
“So Mr. Topolsky and as many as eight of the more prominent editorial and technology staff members at Engadget have left or are leaving AOL and are about to build a new gadget site by joining forces with, yes, you guessed right, their old friend Mr. Bankoff, who now runs a federation of sports sites called SB Nation.
“While there may still be a brand called Engadget at AOL, the people who made it a highly regarded site in a crowded category will be gone.
“‘We had done what we could with the resources that were given to us and taken it as far as it would go,’ Mr. Topolsky said. ‘I know and trust Jim, and he gets what we do. After looking under the hood of what they have in terms of technology, we’re very excited about what we will be able to do there.’”
Read more here.
TALKING BIZ NEWS EXCLUSIVE
Marie Baca has been promoted to managing editor of VentureBeat, a Bay area news site that covers tech news.
She began my journalism career at Dow Jones VentureWire writing about biotechnology. After completing an internship at Stanford Magazine, she then interned at the Time Inc. magazine Business 2.0, penning the biotech/pharmaceutical blog “Biotechnically” and reporting on innovations in biomedical technology.
“Marie is only a couple of weeks old at VentureBeat, but has already convinced us that she is the right person for this job,” wrote VentureBeat founder Matt Marshall in an e-mail to the staff. “As was the case with Owen, she’ll be reporting to me directly. She’ll be collaborating closely with our senior editor, Anthony on coverage, and with Mo on the editing side. She’ll also be in charge of things like reestablishing the news captain system, managing the advertising campaigns, and otherwise managing the daily flow. She’ll be the lynchpin of our news process.”
Baca received her master’s degree in communication through Stanford University’s graduate program in journalism in June 2010. She also has a BA in human biology from Stanford.
The Seattle Times business staff is seeking a hard-driving, enterprising reporter to cover one of the most influential corporations in the world: Microsoft.
This reporter should have considerable experience covering business and/or technology and should take pride at being ahead of not only local competitors, but the national media as well. He or she must be skilled at working with financial documents, understanding technology, building sources and breaking through a PR machine second to none.
This person needs to be skilled at anticipating events, putting together stories that connect the dots and explain to our readers why these events are important. Writing abilities must be sharp and wide-ranging enough to appear regularly on A1, the Business section cover and above the fold online. This candidate should also be comfortable using a variety of tools, from capturing Web video to leveraging social media to engage readers and sources. Availability to travel is also a must.
This reporter, part of The Times’ technology team, must be able to work cooperatively with other team members, as well as peers throughout the newsroom, including photo, graphics and online.
He or she will be principally responsible for daily and enterprise coverage of Microsoft’s corporate affairs, strategies, core products, personnel and workplace issues, and software industry trends. Other members of the team will contribute to coverage of the company, especially in the areas of digital media, gaming and wireless technologies. Contributions to the larger Business section staff is expected, including story ideas and suggestions for the betterment of business coverage.
If you think you are up to the challenge of covering one of our premier beats, contact Technology Editor Mark Watanabe at firstname.lastname@example.org or at The Seattle Times, P.O. Box, 70, Seattle WA 98111.