Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

Jason Calacanis: "Launch" Newsletter Should Be Ready In December

Posted by Tom Foremski - November 16, 2010

I ran into Jason Calacanis at Canaan Partners "Web after dark" event at the ritzy Bently Reserve in San Francisco Monday evening.

He said that the first edition of his "Launch" newsletter, focused on longer "thought pieces" about tech startups should be ready in December and that he is building an editorial team of mostly younger writers.

I had written about the Launch venture last month: Jason Calacanis Plans Revenge With A Techcrunch Disruptor... - SVW

I had criticized his plans not to give writers a byline:

The invisible writers on "Launch" won't benefit much from the success of the publication. They won't be earning much money because there isn't much money in online media and they also won't benefit from building a name for themselves - Mr. Calacanis wants all the brand equity to himself.

Writers capable of longer, analytical posts, won't sign up for that type of arrangement. It'll be unknown writers who don't understand they will be losing an opportunity to build personal brand. Not the smartest bunch of candidates for the job. Not the smartest start to a new venture.

Mr Calacanis said that the names of the writers will be recognized as a group as part of the masthead but that individual posts won't be bylined.

He said he is looking to recruit additional young writers because he enjoys training them.

Mr Calacanis is critical of many of today's online news sites, which employ many young writers, churning out copy. In an interview with The Guardian, a UK newspaper, Mr Calacanis said:

"You have a bunch of people writing short stuff with no research and knowledge base. They have no credibility."

What the market needs, he says, is depth, knowledge and thoroughness.

It'll be interesting to see if a team of young reporters can meet the challenge of longer, analytical posts. It usually takes a fair amount of domain knowledge and experience to write analytical articles.

Writing news articles based on company announcements is a lot easier.

A key feature of Launch is that the publication will only be published via e-mail. That means there won't be any comments on articles or reader discussion.

It seems like a throwback to an earlier era rather than a project from one of the first generation of bloggers, who celebrated comments and "TrackBack" as progressive features of a new media format compared with the comment-free old media.


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