Another Example of Why Mainstream Media Still Exists

Wholly inaccurate article on TechCrunch shows why we still trust the Wall Street Journal more than blogs.

A lot of people think the days of print publications are limited. “Blogs are much more cost effective and citizen journalists are just as good as mainstream journalists”, the argument goes.

I respectfully disagree. There’s a reason people pay more attention to the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal than the random musings of a blogger or some guy in a t-shirt on iReport.

Here’s one example of wholly inaccurate reporting on one of the most popular blogs in the world: TechCrunch. The article, titled “Two Ways Google Is Trying To Juice AdSense: Ad-Only Search Boxes And Syndication Pages“, may be baffling to Google Adsense users. It may appear to be an article from three years ago. It’s not just a minor error here or there. This article is wholly inaccurate. Frankly, the entire article should be retracted (rather than current half-hearted clarifications in the article).

The article discusses Google Adsense link units as if they were recently discovered, and that these units (gasp) link to a page full of ads rather than an advertiser’s landing page. This is what link units have always done. That’s what they’re designed to do.

It also mentions search boxes in some link units. Google has always done this when it can’t find relevant link units.

Enough about this particular article. You can read it yourself.

My point is that people still trust the premier mainstream media more than blogs when both are covering the same thing. The role for blogs to play is in niche markets (such as domaining) that aren’t (or can’t cost effectively) be covered by mainstream media.

Yes, we’ll see some big printed publications fail over the next 10 years. The days of the local paper being delivered to your doorstep may be limited. But let’s not confuse the medium of delivery with the professionalism. Good publications, such as The Wall Street Journal and The Economist will survive. The quality of research and writing is unparalleled.


  1. Adam says

    I’ve seen some of the mainstream outlets get things completely backwards as well, especially when it comes to domain name issues.

  2. Andrew says

    Agreed. Let’s not forget the New York Times scandal where articles were made up.

    But this is a case of basic research not being done.

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