Earlier this month, TechCrunch and the Washington Post announced that they were entering a syndication partnership, where the WashingtonPost.com will add TechCrunch stories to the technology section of their site.
In a move that seems to help both the WashingtonPost.com and TechCrunch, a third party was not so hot about the deal. WIRED writer Betsy Schiffman wrote a story later that day calling out TechCrunch editor Michael Arrington:
We’ve got nothing against TechCrunch, but it seems crazy-crazy to us that the Washington Post, a paper known for the sort of reporting that can take down U.S. presidents, is publishing content written by a dude who invests in the companies he writes about. But what do we know.
No one at WIRED is responding to me today about their post yesterday. I’m organizing a WIRED burning party (the mag, not their offices).
Schiffman wrote another story that appeared Tuesday afternoon, pointing out Arrington’s choice words towards WIRED, and posting an unanswered email that she sent to Arrington:
I know that you disclose your investments, which is fine, but the very fact that you invest in companies you may write about goes against the longstanding set of ethical standards that have governed newspapers for decades.
Schiffman also reports that questions to the Washington Post also went unanswered and reiterates her point that “There are some basic ethical standards that should be followed when you are a journalist. And that includes avoiding conflicts of interest.”
Arrington voiced his opinion on WIRED and Schiffman this morning:
I question WIRED’s intentions in posting about this, specifically now that they have posted twice. As a competitor they are clearly conflicted when writing about us, and attacks like these, including the childish tagging issue, appear to be little more than attempts to disrupt our deal with the Washington Post…
I have a lot of respect for many of the writers and editors at WIRED. But as far as I’m concerned WIRED.com, from Editor-In-Chief Evan Hansen on down to Betsy Schiffman, has clearly crossed an ethical line here. Perhaps they are giving up the fight to write relevant content and are resorting to sensationalist trash like this to generate page views. If that’s the case, it is a shame. I used to love that magazine.
As both Arrington and Schiffman seem to be standing firm in their corners, it will be interesting to see if WIRED responds to Arrington’s latest statements which seem to address all of the issues WIRED has with the syndication.
What’s your take?