Dan Gillmor shares his thoughts on TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington's departure from AOL.
This article titled “TechCrunch, trust and conflicts of interest” was written by Dan Gillmor, for guardian.co.uk on Thursday 15th September 2011 20.15 UTC
Journalism is a conflict of interest. All journalists and news organisations have worldviews, business dealings and biases. Sometimes, the entanglements, financial and otherwise, are so plain that they cause rational members of our audience(s) to wonder if we could possibly be doing a fair job.
That natural reaction is why many outsiders have been so intrigued by the insider antics at AOL in the past several weeks. As you’ve heard, if you follow the media scene, some of AOL’s business dealings were connecting with its journalism in a spectacularly blatant way until the company backed off, at least officially, from what looked like a flagrant conflict of interest.