James Ball writes in the Columbia Journalism Review about why technology journalism needs to be overhauled.
Ball writes, “Time and again tech reporting gets caught in the hype rather than reality; a super-fast but impractical rail alternative proposed by Elon Musk gets tons of coverage, but it’s difficult to get real rail projects funded. Breathless reporting on Bitcoin and blockchain risks getting readers caught in get-rich-quick scams. And even in consumer journalism, the tech press often misunderstands its audience: VR and 3D television are greeted more enthusiastically by journalists than by consumers.
“Tech reporters are often expected to cover all facets of the industry, writing pieces on tech culture, harassment, the dark web, the business models of Facebook, and whatever’s going viral that week. Even the best and highest-profile writers seem stretched thin: Recode’s Kara Swisher interviews Zuckerberg, reports on executive moves at different dot-com giants, appears as a talking head, and, on top of all that, tries to step back and say what it all means, too.
“There is currently high-level global debate as to whether the tech giants should be broken up in the public interest. We should also have a debate about whether tech journalism should be broken up for the same reason: We need a new journalism which treats tech the same as every other major vested corporate interest — people who can sit back and aside from the tech industry maelstrom and try to see the picture from above.”
Read more here.