OLD Media Moves

How Elizabeth Holmes soured the media on Silicon Valley

November 19, 2021

Posted by Chris Roush

Erin Griffith and Erin Woo of The New York Times write about how the downfall of Theranos Inc. and CEO Elizabeth Holmes has soured business journalists on Silicon Valley.

Griffith and Woo write, “The discovery that Ms. Holmes, the tech industry’s most celebrated female entrepreneur, was misdirecting the world about her company marked a turning point in the tech press, ending a decade-long run of largely positive coverage. Reporters cringed over glowing articles they had written about tech companies that turned out to have stretched the truth, glossed over the negative consequences of their products or generally abused the trust they had enjoyed with the public.

“‘Holmes just becomes this fable of ‘You can’t just buy what they’re selling,’’ said Margaret O’Mara, a professor at the University of Washington and a historian of Silicon Valley. ”This was not what it purported to be, and we fell for it.’’

“After The Wall Street Journal published exposés in 2015 and 2016 showing that Theranos was not what it appeared to be, coverage of tech companies generally became more probing.

“Reporters dug into Facebook’s role in the 2016 presidential election, as well as scandals at Uber and a series of #MeToo accusations and labor uprisings at tech companies. The shift happened alongside the realization that the tech industry was no longer the niche realm of idealist computer geeks. It had become the dominant force in the global economy and needed to be held more to account.”

Read more here.

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