Victor Asemota Vs PandoDaily: A Twitter Tiff Over Coverage

Geoffrey Ellis Photo

You know, we just launched a new channel called, Drama here on Techloy to capture most of the dramatic moments in tech — the cyber attacks, the corporate lay-offs, the law suits, the tech spats and gossips, the start-up trainwrecks — because we know people naturally have the tendency to watch related incidents.

Since we’re still toddlers in tech reporting (15-months old) you should also be expecting tantrums, sulks and spats, even with offensive words from time to time. Yeah, we know. We need to grow up.

But just so we don’t piss you off here at Techloy or make you get into a Twitter fight with us for reading this particularly non-tech post or future silly posts, you may as well click off. [No pun intended].

Ok now that I’ve got that off my chest, let me say this: tech journalism has really lost its essence. Especially with the way the world’s tech media focuses on the coverage of the specs of consumer products such as the iPhone, while leaving out or simply ignoring more important stories.

Some of the world’s respected technology blogs have even covered politically-related topics such that when a Silicon Valley-based tech blog, PandoDaily which normally covers tech and start-ups while specializing in thoughtful commentary on the Valley’s business culture and trends in the social web decided to run a political commentary, they didn’t realize they were shooting themselves in the foot.

While Editor-in-Chief, Sarah Lacy’s goal of starting PandoDaily was (I quote) “to be the site-of-record for that startup root-system and everything that springs up from it, cycle-after-cycle”, it appears that the site is “becoming hypocritical and patronizing”, as suggested by one of its readers, Victor Asemota who took issue with a story one of the site’s regular contributors, Paul Carr did on Samuel L. Jackson’s patronizing, hypocritical viral message to President Obama voters.

The conversation that ensued was quickly followed by displays of passive aggression peppered with sarcasm to irritating ignorance and flippant insults, resulting in a train wreck with all the parties involved appearing silly for engaging in such unnecessary tiff.

Even though Lacy featured Asemota in a TechCrunch blog post last May about tech start-ups in Nigeria and both were photographed together in a friendly mood (photo above) at a tech event in Lagos last year, she didn’t pull any punches as she expressed her disappointment at Asemota’s somewhat annoying insensitivity and further blocking him on Twitter.

Carr (a.k.a Not Mentally Well), on his part, brought his signature sarcasm to the show calling Asemota an ‘idiot’ and a ‘clown’ for not realising that personal opinions are a part of journalism and telling him off: “Just go. Leave. Begone”. As did Lacy, he blocked Asemota on Twitter.

In the midst of all of the shredding, Asemota stood his ground arguing that the politics story on the site is putting him off as a reader and suggested that such stories be kept to personal blogs, so it doesn’t water down the tech coverage. But he also didn’t tolerate Carr’s tirade of abuse, as he went offensive calling the former drunk a ‘moron’.

Thanks to Storify, we’ve made it easier to read how the conversation played out on Twitter. Enjoy :)

As I said earlier, tech journalism is dead. This is the age of tech blogging where just about anything can pass for a story, as long as there’s an audience waiting for such content. And in most cases, there is.

For readers, it means that if a tech blog isn’t showing you the content you want to watch, you have a choice to change the channel and perhaps come back later when what they’re showing interests you. That isn’t hard to do, right?

As for bloggers, they need to realize that the opinion of their readers matter, regardless of whether they agree with their opinions or not, particularly because their visits and views contribute to the site’s success. Readers deserve respect.

As for me, my head has always been on the chopping block of critics. I’ve been called out for covering some stories, while ignoring other stories. I’ve been criticised several times for writing more stories about particular companies, while leaving out others. I’ve even been described as ‘irrelevant’ to the technology media industry.

While I’ve tried to explain to some people who — in most cases — don’t get how media works, how media really works in this part of the world, I’ve somehow been able to stay sane in the industry for the past eight years without becoming a train wreck.

That, is priceless!

[Image credits: TechCrunch]



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