Acer Ferrari 1000 laptop

"We have a traditional understanding of journalism with the exception of TechCrunch." -- AOL chief executive officer Tim Armstrong

Around five years ago, Microsoft fueled a controversy by giving $4,000 Acer Ferrari 1000 laptop computers running Windows Vista Ultimate to some popular tech bloggers. A lot of bloggers -- particularly those who did not receive incredibly overpriced luxury branded laptops -- raised such a ruckus that Microsoft eventually asked for them back. Bloggers who wouldn't give them up were encouraged to hold a contest giveaway.

I was reminded of this controversy when I read TechCrunch writer M.G. Siegler's post this morning about how the news site's impartiality would not be affected by TechCrunch founder Mike Arrington actively investing in companies they report on:

The notion that Mike, or anyone else, investing in a company would dictate some sort of giant conflicted agenda is laughable. Literally. If Mike tried to get me to write some unreasonable post about a company he had invested in, I would laugh at him. But he would never do that. Ask Loic Le Meur. Ask Kevin Rose. Ask Shervin Pishevar. Ask Airbnb. Ask countless others. He didn't get to where he is by being an idiot. ...

The magic at TechCrunch happens because the writers have very little oversight. Instead, the emphasis is placed on hiring the right writers in the first place and putting them through a trial-by-fire to see who emerges. Those that have, my peers, are the best at what they do.

Siegler's defense is exactly the same as those Ferrari bloggers. Every journalist knows she is personally capable of rising above conflicts of interest to report without fear or favor. Getting to do it on a $4,000 laptop tricked out like a midlife crisis sports car is all the sweeter.

But let's say Arrington's new investment fund bankrolls Heello, the Twitter clone that 300,000 people were fascinated by for exactly 12 minutes last month.

Let's say Siegler thinks Heello belongs in the TechCrunch deadpool.

Will he report that story with the same enthusiasm he would give another startup that isn't fattened by Arrington's filthy lucre? There are far more lousy startups out there than Siegler has time to cover. It would be easy to make Heello a story he didn't quite get around to writing. The way a story gets reported isn't the only place journalistic bias rears its head. There's also the decision about whether to cover something at all.

Even if those fire-tested TechCrunch writers give impartial coverage to Arrington's ventures and all of their direct competitors, there's another way his investments bite them in the ass.

People will be too cynical to believe in that impartiality.

If you accepted that laptop from Microsoft in 2006, for the rest of time you face a choice every time you write about the company: You can disclose that gift again or risk having a snarky bastard in the comments make it sound like you intentionally covered it up.

Siegler now faces the same disclosure issue over and over again, and he didn't even get a laptop.

-- Rogers Cadenhead

Comments

I am only writing to make you understand what a incredible discovery my wife's princess undergone going through your blog. She came to find lots of pieces, which included what it is like to possess a very effective coaching mood to let other individuals very easily know precisely various multifaceted topics. You truly surpassed people's desires. Thanks for distributing those interesting, healthy, edifying not to mention cool thoughts on this topic to Sandra.


 

I needed to put you the little observation just to thank you so much once again for your pleasing strategies you've featured in this article. It has been really strangely open-handed of you to offer extensively just what many individuals could have supplied for an ebook to make some dough on their own, mostly since you could have tried it in the event you considered necessary. Those solutions additionally acted to be a good way to be certain that other individuals have the same interest just as my very own to find out very much more pertaining to this matter. I am sure there are thousands of more pleasant sessions ahead for individuals that look over your site.
nike air max 90 www.airmax90.us.org<>


 

I needed to compose you this very little remark to help give thanks again for the awesome things you have shown here. This has been quite remarkably generous with people like you to convey publicly exactly what most people could possibly have supplied as an ebook to end up making some cash for their own end, especially considering the fact that you might have done it if you considered necessary. The tips likewise worked as the easy way to fully grasp someone else have the same interest much like my personal own to grasp significantly more pertaining to this issue. I know there are thousands of more enjoyable sessions in the future for people who looked at your website.
kobe sneakers www.kobesneakers.com<>


 

I wish to get across my admiration for your generosity giving support to men and women that require assistance with this concern. Your real commitment to getting the message up and down ended up being amazingly interesting and has surely enabled women just like me to achieve their ambitions. Your personal warm and helpful key points entails this much a person like me and extremely more to my office workers. Thanks a ton; from all of us.


 

I simply desired to say thanks yet again. I do not know the things I would've gone through in the absence of these tips shared by you on such question. It seemed to be a horrifying case in my circumstances, nevertheless understanding a new professional avenue you solved it made me to cry with fulfillment. Now i'm happier for this work and in addition expect you know what a powerful job your are getting into training most people all through your blog post. Most likely you haven't got to know any of us.


 

Thanks for your entire labor on this website. Kim delights in engaging in investigations and it's simple to grasp why. Almost all learn all about the dynamic form you deliver powerful guidance through this web blog and foster participation from some others about this idea plus our favorite simple princess is truly starting to learn a lot. Have fun with the remaining portion of the new year. You're the one performing a very good job.
yeezy 500 www.yeezy500.us<>


 

Add a Comment

These HTML tags are permitted: p, b, i, a, and blockquote. A comment may not include more than three links. Participants in this discussion should note the site's moderation policy.