OLD Media Moves

The quality of tech journalism

December 18, 2011

Posted by Chris Roush

Hunter Walk, a Google product management developer, had a post on his personal blog last week that included a sample of responses from tech journalists about the quality of the field.

Here are a few examples:

Liz Gannes, AllThingsD
I generally write about what I want to read about. I always have a bajillion more posts in my head than I get out on the screen, but that’s an issue of limited hours in the day and unlimited distractions, not lack of audience. On the flip side, I am dismayed every day by the crap that people seem to find worthy of page views — uninformative infographics, sloppy reporting, gimmicky stories and the like. I’d love if tech writing as a whole held itself to a higher standard, and the readers rewarded that.

Quentin Hardy, The New York Times
There are topics which receive significant coverage, but are not being addressed in ways that I find particularly effective. That is, I think people may care about them, but they tend to fall back on familiar tropes and biases which prevent them from engaging with them successfully. “Care more” in this sense might be seen as “address differently.” [An example is] our national financial situation. Ideological biases, strengthened by a desire to avoid painful disruptions to the status quo, are preventing many people from addressing the choices we have made about revenues in and payments out. The complex tax code and the payments to social spending and the military are both treated as issues that can be addressed singly, or solved by adherence to one or another magical solution.

There are topics which are somewhat apparent in the news, but are bigger than people think. “Care more” in this sense might be seen as “address more.” [An example is] the way that technology has fundamentally undermined the nation state. Around the world, the state is failing to deliver on the fundamental promise that justifies its existence. The list of such nations — Somalia and much of Africa, the ‘stans, Mediterranean Europe, Mexico, are only the first that come to mind — are failing for reasons too diverse to find a single cause. I suspect that a new political form is evolving.

Read more here.

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