Jump to content


Online media matters

Main Page Rants

There’s hype in tech journalism!


In journalism, these are the folks who happily run stories with one source.

They are the reporters who raved about boo.com because the company had a hip, jargon-heavy media kit.

And they are the ones who inspired Steve Gilliard's rant against all of technology journalism.

His broad blows against technology reporters do occasionally ring true, despite the fact the same criticism can be applied to some of those working the entertainment, business, and political beats.

In it, he accuses many tech-centric publications of doing exactly what reporting 101 (and common sense) tell you not to do: Don't kiss up to the big guys, and never think you're part of the scene.

The passionate and blindingly-biased rant now stretches over 12 pages, thanks to NetSlaves' new post-and-comment model. Reading through the comments, it's clear Gilliard's rant is actually educating people about PR-influenced journalism.

Despite his generalizations, the rant acts as a booster shot of media awareness.

Ironically, a similar-minded missive appeared in 1998 in the form of a manifesto urging writers essentially to "think critically about technology, and become neither its cheerleaders nor its naysayers." But that piece's timing was off.

The Net's Old Guard mocked the ideas as too self-evident, even as those coming online were wide-eyed with wonder. Within six months, the dot-com rush began.

Gilliard's rant, coming as it does in a climate inundated by daily reminders of the danger of hype, couldn't have had better timing.

Maybe this will be the message both journalists and the public-at-large will finally hear.