Tech journalism has lost its way

Summary:There's more to tech stories than product size and weight...

This week all the tech sites and newspaper tech sections will be full of stories about mass produced consumer electronics products being exhibited at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Some sites will claim scoops because they were the first to publish a list of tech specs for a product. All sites will report the color, the dimensions, and the weight of products. How did tech journalism become such tedious product reporting?

I’m mildly interested in tech products because I use them but it seems there are so many better tech stories to write than the ones being written by tech journalists.

Our digital technologies are incredible, they can be made into millions of specialized technologies in every industry. We’ve never ever had any tool that so adaptable and reconfigurable on the fly, that can be made into so many different types of tools. What can we do with these technologies? We’ve only just scratched the surface.

It’s a post-technology world in that the technologies are now woven into the framework of our reality, they help create a blended reality that will transform our lives, our communities, our future. But technology won’t guarantee a good future unless we work to create it.

The media performs a very important role in helping their readers and viewers understand the world and to bring attention to troubling trends. Yet our tech media is mostly interested in products which means we have even fewer watch dogs.  

If we aren’t careful, we could inadvertently paint ourselves into a corner with our use of technologies and end up inside a modern version of North Korea or some other horrific society.

Fewer watchdogs in the media is also an advantage for those groups that are working to create a future that favors a privileged few.

The 'Internet of Things' is mundane compared with the 'Internet of Life.' Products are meaningless, what we do with them is how we progress. And how technology can help us pursue meaning in life is by far the most interesting question in tech reporting. It won't be found at CES.

Technology could enable a future that’s golden for all, or horrific for many. If you consider yourself a techno-utopian you must also be a techno-activist.  We need to work for a future that turns out well.

Topics: CES

About

In May 2004, Tom Foremski became the first journalist to leave a major newspaper, the Financial Times, to make a living as a full-time journalist blogger. He writes the popular news blog Silicon Valley Watcher--reporting on the business of Silicon Valley.Tom arrived in San Francisco in 1984, and has covered US technology markets for leadi... Full Bio

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