Recode’s Swisher: We need to be tougher on companies
Journalists need to be tougher on the companies and other institutions they cover, said Kara Swisher, executive editor and cofounder of Recode:
“We just have to be tougher on everybody,” said Swisher. “We do that in podcasts.”
Swisher was speaking in a podcast with Recode media reporter Peter Kafka.
“We have to stop being so cooperative. We cooperate too much,” said Swisher, who later added, “We allow them to lie. We allow them to say things that are false. We don’t question things as much as we should.”
Swisher noted in the interview that some companies — she mentioned Yahoo — have closed off access to her because they perceive her coverage to be hostile. She noted that one company public relations person called her from its parking lot to apologize, but she said that made her coverage easier because she didn’t have to call the company to get a response to everything she wrote.
“I’ll just do good reporting, and I don’t have to do the dance,” said Swisher.
She said that her position as one of the leading technology journalists in the country means that she is friendly with many tech executives and attends their parties. But she says many tech executives appreciate tough journalism.
“They like the idea of an intelligent person asking them tough questions,” said Swisher, noting that she has had many tough conversations with Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg.
Swisher also talked about how she started in business journalism at the Washington Post, covering retail for six years before she become a technology reporter. That’s when she met Walt Mossberg at the Wall Street Journal, who became her partner in launching Recode.