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The Conflict Between New and Old Journalism

February 8, 2012

This blog, the Pando Daily, was just founded. It looks great. But it also make me think of the conflict between old and new media.

The founder, Sarah Lacy,  was once the editor at TechChrunch, one of the most influential sites in the tech industry until pretty recently. The decline in influence happened, when it was sold to AOL and when the founder Michael Arrington was fired or let go, because he openly was covering start-ups which he was investing money in as well. He wrote it as a disclamer but the old media industry (New York Times) critisized it heavily – you cannot do that in the old industry. You have to be completely independent from economic interests. A great trustworthy principle.

Many bloggers believe that is okay to go further than old-time-journalists, as long as you disclaim it.

The whole discussion can be read here in another great blog, The Monday Note. The author calls it ‘soft corruption’. It is really worth a read.

The question is whether the old media industry’s ethical guidelines are out-of-date.

However, Pando Daily’s Sarah Lacy writes:

Another note on conflicts: I won’t be investing directly in startups, nor will the staff-writers of PandoDaily. But we have plenty of contributors and opinion columnists who do, because frequently those people are informed enough to write the best stuff. And that’s no different from the policies of many old media brands like BusinessWeek and Fortune who’ve paid investors to write opinions and columns for years. News is news, but great opinion pieces are supposed to have bias and a point-of-view.

So in some ways, old media standards are still due. Let’s watch this development close.


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