Interesting piece in the Columbia Journalism Review from Brian Merchant, one of the more interesting tech reporters out there, and author of a forthcoming book on the Luddites. He is discussing tech companies’ tactics in engaging with journalists. He notes that,
“Silicon Valley wasn’t always so hostile to reporters. It used to be relatively open. Apple, probably more than any other company, snapped it closed… as Silicon Valley found itself in an ever-expanding position of power, journalism was contracting.”
He goes on to mention a recent story he did on Tesla, for which I provided some insight. He was shocked by Tesla’s reaction to his story and my comments. It reveals something important about how defensive tech companies can become when their stories are challenged. If self-driving vehicles are going to change the world, the people developing the tech are going to have to get used to the fact that they can’t completely control the conversation.