Unpaid Techcrunch Reporter Sacked For Bribe Attempt
This is what happens when you have unpaid or low paid writers. Daniel Brusilovsky, a reporter for Techcrunch, was sacked after someone accused him of asking for a Macbook Air in exchange for a post about a company.
Mike Arrington, founder of Techcrunch said that all of his posts have been erased from the archives. And that Mr Brusilovsky did manage to get at least one computer from an unnamed source in exchange for coverage. [An Apology To Our Readers]
He was described as an 'intern.' Which means he was unpaid, or paid the minimum California wage.
[Update: John Furrier from Silicon Angle says he spoke Daniel and was told he did not receive any payment from Techcrunch and had no contract.]
Some observers said that he didn't know what he was doing because of his age, 16. But he spent nine months at Techcrunch and saw how things are done. He knew what he was doing.
However, we don't know what exactly happened. He hasn't given his side of the story and responded to Mr Arrington's specific allegations.
At least not much damage was done. It's not as if Mr Brusilovsky was bribed to squash a "Deep Throat' sourced story.
Techcrunch's stories are all very innocent, mostly about some new product feature. or a startup profile. I doubt readers would be able to distinguish the bribed stories from the rest.
Are other reporters and bloggers for online news sites vulnerable to bribery? Yes, they are, especially if they aren't paid or low paid -- which is the case with most. Low wages are endemic among the online press corps because advertising supported news sites don't make much money per post.
I'm surprised more stories haven't surfaced about this type of behavior. It's no wonder that the 2010 Edelman Trust Barometer found a large fall in trust for all media.
- - -