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Kuro5hin: It's Time for Quality Tech Reporting

Jan 10, 2001, 23:02 (5 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Robin Miller)

"I've been covering technology news full-time for about five years now, and concentrating almost entirely on Linux and Open Source for the last three. Before I got heavily involved with the Internet I did over 10 years worth of (print) free-lance investigative reporting and feature writing. I find that online tech reporting in general is poor compared to most newspaper and magazine journalism. Can it be improved? And, especially when it comes to Linux and Open Source, does anyone really want quality journalism?"

"There is a tendency in all areas of journalism to spend too much time covering what I call "manufactured news," a category in which I place all press releases, political debates, press conferences, and statements by official spokespeople of any kind, including the craggy-faced senior firefighter every large fire department has around whose sole job is to look good in front of a burned-out house on the nightly TV news."

"Pumping out manufactured news is easy for reporters, most of whom aren't paid nearly as much as programmers or sysadmins despite being under constant deadline pressure, especially if they are writing for Internet media. Corporate spokespeople are always happy to say something glowing about their companies' products and services. Groups like the EFF and EPIC have agendas they love to push, and sympathetic though you or I may be to those agendas (note the bias here!) repeating their spokepeople's public statements is not real reporting."

"So what is real reporting?..."

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