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

MG Siegler Tells Tech News Sites: 'Don't Write Something Because You Can'

Posted by Tom Foremski - July 22, 2013

MG Siegler, a former reporter with Techcrunch and now a partner at Google Ventures, is unhappy about the quality of tech news. He says that most of it – 75% is inaccurate and only 5% is right. And no one is held accountable (except in rare cases such as PandoDaily.)

He offers some advice in his post: The 75 — 20 — 5 Rule — Tech Blogging

Tech reporters, don’t be lazy. You can talk yourself into any truth, but an absence of facts is not a validation of anything beyond the fact that you have bad sources. The best way to get to the truth is often to triangulate. The liklihood that you’re going to get all the information you need from one source is infinitesimal. 

… Don’t write something because you can. Write something because you should. Or don’t write anything at all.

Mr. Siegler forgot about Pageview Journalism. Tech news writers write because they have to – about six stories a day – which doesn't leave much room for "triangulation" or checking facts. It's mostly rewrites of news releases or one-source rumors. 

Chasing pageviews retards the quality of news reporting. If we had a mechanism for rewarding quality and accuracy that would be great. Maybe Google Ventures can fund some startups in that area.

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