UPDATE: At the time of writing this story, we reached out to couple of largest startup and tech online media players. We are sharing below what Steven, Editor at TechinAsia thinks on this subject of fair journalism in Startup media.
As per Steven,
Tech journalism has very rightly come under a lot more scrutiny in the past couple of years as the startup ecosystem – and the media around it – becomes more mainstream. However, is a large swathe of startup coverage just cheerleading some kind of ‘brave new world’ of techie entrepreneurship? Sadly yes. Imagine a newspaper or TV news channel that’s a cheerleader for politicians – it’s simply nauseating. So too should be the same notion for any blogger/reader when it comes to startups.
Startup folk and entrepreneurs, however, still expect a free pass from the specialist tech media. To make the situation tougher, many entrepreneurs don’t really understand how the media works or how they should engage with it. In my experience, that leads to a lot of mishaps on the part of entrepreneurs when issuing news or trying to drum up coverage.
When some news or information slips out, it’s the duty of any tech blogger to check the veracity and then report on it. Though a startup might protest that it’s inconvenient, that’s irrelevant to the core principles of a journalist. For a writer in possession of a fact, there’s no going back, there’s no unwriting; for the reader, there’s no unseeing.
No matter who or what is the subject matter – a politician, a celebrity, a minor entrepreneur trying to make it big – the article is written for the reader and the people involved are held accountable according to the facts.
Earlier today we did a story on a startup raising funds through an online fundraising platform called LetsVenture. However, the story is no longer available on our website as we have taken it down, a hard and conscious decision we took after discussing it internally.
Before we get to the reasoning on why we published the story and why we took it down, we would like to apologise to all our readers for taking the story off.
Why We Did The Story
We got to know from a close source to the development that the startup in question had raised funding via LetsVenture. We confirmed with the people who were aware of the development and with the founder, though there were a few mixed and diplomatic responses. We still went ahead as we had sureshot data that the fund raising was going nearly done on the platform.
A few hours later we learned, that the funding was in the last stages and was going through some paper work. We updated the story with the same saying: