How biz journalists define "technology"
John Foster, the managing editor of the Idaho Business Reviews, wonders Friday about how business journalism is defining its coverage of technology.
Foster wrote, “Iâ€™m still plowing through the technology section the Idaho Statesman published yesterday. (I would link to it if I could find it on their site. Hilarious.) But itâ€™s got me thinking about how we in business journalism define that word â€“ ‘technology.’ Companies involved in actual manufacturing get most of the attention: Micron makes chips. Hewlett-Packard makes printers. MPC makes computers. Those items are tangible, easy to understand and thus easy to explain. And those items fit into the category of ‘technology.’
“But the best source of ideas, vision and excitement in Idahoâ€™s business community come from companies not making those understandable, tangible widgets. The coolest companies are making or selling intangible things: database software, microscopic sensors, ideas. Should we classify those things as ‘technology?’ I know we can â€“ after all, back in the day you could classify the automobile as ‘technology’ â€“ but should we attach that term to anything new or electronic?
“At our daily editorial staff meeting this morning we discussed that term, and how weâ€™ve allowed our coverage to be defined by it. It helped me realize that ‘technology’ has exploded to a point thatâ€™s beyond one category. Maybe we need a reporter covering ‘intellectual capital’ and a reporter covering ‘ideas’ in addition to reporters writing about banking, real estate, etc.”
Read more here. What do you think? Does business journalism cover technology well, or does it cover it poorly? Does it lump some things into “technology” that it shouldn’t?