Michael Wolff of USA Today writes for Monday’s paper about tech reporter Kara Swisher of All Things D/The Wall Street Journal and why she is so feared by the industry she covers.
Wolff writes, “Swisher is not, per se, a gossip columnist but part of the technology press, with its fragile line between promotion and coverage and its protection racket method of sucking up to sponsors and allies and ignoring or dinging those who do not fall into line.
“With The Wall Street Journal‘s influential gadget columnist, Walt Mossberg, Swisher runs the Journal-owned business conference, D, where media and tech CEOs vie for attention and speaking spots. And she runs the website All Things D, also owned by the Journal and its parent, News Corp. All Things D (that is, digital) began as an adjunct to the conference but has since morphed into a dominant tech news site — and, as well, a personal fiefdom and power base for Swisher.
“Swisher and Mossberg have used their clout in the industry to become the kind of individual voices that can provide the new revenue streams that mainstream media companies say they want to encourage. Except that now the team, which has long been at odds with News Corp., is trying to use its independent power base and free agent status to find new backers to help them create a business to compete with the D brands. (While Mossberg is a Journal staff member, Swisher, is not; she has a contract that expires at the end of the year.)
“In a further extension of technology business conflicts, and of how lines cross when journalists become journalism entrepreneurs, Swisher and Mossberg are now seeking financial backing from companies that they otherwise cover as news subjects.”
Read more here.