Re/code was Walt Mossberg’s digital project after negotiations to keep him (and Kara Swisher) at the Wall Street Journal’s All Things D. Mossberg spent decades building and nurturing a reputation for fair-minded, consumer-friendly reviews of computers and electronic devices.
Mossberg might just have put that hard-earned reputation at risk:
We are thrilled to announce that Re/code’s parent company, Revere Digital, is being wholly acquired by the highly respected digital-native media company Vox Media. This is the next big step in our mission to bring you quality tech journalism, because our work will now be amplified and enhanced by Vox Media’s deep and broad skill set.
We want to assure you that this combination is designed to bolster and enrich Re/code, and that we will continue to publish under the same name and leadership, with editorial independence.
You have to wonder about that last bit. Vox Media is a DC-based digital publishing company cofounded by Daily Kos himself, Markos Moulitsas, and superleftwing MyDD founder Jerome Armstrong. By itself that might not make anyone worry about Re/code’s editorial independence, but there’s some history you need to know.
The Verge started off as a fantastic and fair tech site. Originally called “This Is My Next…,” it was spun off in 2011 by Engadget writers, striking out on their own after disagreements with parent company AOL.
But even a big fan like me quit visiting The Verge after it became explicitly politicized, especially over climate change — and no dissent seems to be tolerated there. So I quit clicking and started writing more tech stuff myself.
Even Apple guru John Gruber — hardly a conservative — wrote about the deal that he’s “not sure what to make of this.”
It would be a shame to see Mossberg squander his reputation by teaming up with the likes of Moulitsas and Armstrong.