Where Have All the Tech Reporters Gone?
Hired by the Companies They Once Covered
Just the other day I heard from a former tech editor who had been struck by the massive Newsweek layoff this past July. He told me he now worked doing communications and editorial for a startup in Silicon Valley that he had covered for Newsweek.
I started thinking about all the tech journalists who are now working for the companies they covered and often writing “paid content” instead of news articles.
And of course, there’s Dan Lyons, whose book, Disrupted, is about his experience working for a start-up after his career as a tech editor and columnist for Newsweek and Forbes.
Robert Scoble, one of the most popular tech bloggers, was hired as an evangelist — or high-paid communicator — by Microsoft, then Rackspace, and now UpLoad VR.
Steve Gillmor, who still appears on Techcrunch TV, has a day job in communications at Salesforce.
Karen Wickre, a well-known tech editor for Upside and Ziff Davis, became the voice of Google, then Twitter, and now has her own PR firm.
With the media world in full disruption, it makes financial sense for good tech writers and editors to find firmer footing in the startup scene.
What does it do for the credibility of these former reporters when they become corporate communicators? And does it belie what seems to be an incestuous relationship between tech reporters and the companies they cover?