PandoDaily has still not given any updates on last week’s BeachMint debacle, wherein reporter Michael Carney erroneously reported that BeachMint had fired its founders and would be returning $20 million to investors. Factual errors can take a while to sort out, but haters have used the controversy to level some serious shots at PandoDaily’s Sarah Lacy & Co.
Dan Mitchell of SF Weekly — the same guy who infamously derided the “tech blog circle jerk” last April — calls PandoDaily “really very terrible” in a recent blog post, and mocks the blog’s self-regard and lightweight content.
A lot of his critiques are fair; I personally believe the best journalism “comforts the afflicted and afflicts the comfortable,” and Pando rarely produces investigative stories or major scoops, unless they’re checking how much money someone raised.
That may be because, at their heart, most tech blogs are only trade journals.
My biggest beef with tech journalism in 2013 is people seem to have forgotten why they’re doing it; it’s like everyone’s still riding on the inertia of pre-2010 TechCrunch, when apps were cool and social media was fresh and the mainstream media had still not accepted that there was going to be another Silicon rush.
Now we’ve got guys like Ryan Lawler at TechCrunch, who yesterday wrote, without a hint of irony, that SpoonRocket “was built to fundamentally change the way we think about food.”
DUDE…just work in PR already! It pays better, I won’t blame you!
THAT BEING SAID: I’m going to take a stand for Pando, because they host quite a few contrarian writers. Some damn good contrarian writers, in fact. People like Bryan Goldberg, who Mitchell calls “odious” for some reason, but who actually has provides some of the most lucid, thoughtful commentary on the direction of online journalism. People like Paul Carr, whom I’ve called out for being a raving a**hole but is nonetheless a stupendously entertaining writer. And let’s not forget Francisco Dao, who delights in throwing cold-water on startup ambitions with such wickedly titled posts as “What If Things Don’t Work Out For You?”
Those guys above are funny, I like making time to read their pieces, and it’s simple as that. And really, as a blogger, and a reader, I’m not looking for tech, or startups…I’m just looking for interesting ideas. As long as Pando gives me a few of those a week, I’m a supporter.