2018: The Biggest Year Yet for Tech Press

Financial Times TechThis year will surely be written in textbooks for years to come as one of strife for American journalism. From presidential vitriol spewed at reporters to newsroom shootings to the crackdown on fakenews, the press has dominated its own headlines this year. But for the tech press corps, 2018 was filled with promotions, new publications and a rise in news consumption. As a leading technology PR firm, ARPR has been following positive changes within the tech press corps throughout 2018. In no particular order, here are the top trends that your IT brand can capitalize on in order to #MakeNews in the New Year:

National business publications are expanding tech coverage with gusto.

For starters, this fall CNN ditched its finance-focused CNNMoney site, replacing it with CNN Business, which will have a heavy focus on IT and Silicon Valley. The Financial Times also debuted a dedicated technology page, expanding its coverage to include topics such as fintech, AI, cybersecurity, autotech and healthIT.

But The Washington Post and CNBC doubled down on tech harder than any other business publications this year. Based on my (non-scientific) research, CNBC hired over 10 different tech journalists in 2018, who will be managed by Steve Kovach; and WaPo hired more than a dozen writers as well as launched The Switch newsletter.

Mainstream news is getting techy.

For example, Recode, which was founded in 2014 by icons Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg, announced that it will be folded into its general news sister site Vox.com in 2019. This is further evidenced by outlets like WaPo hiring for titles like “technology-in-our-lives reporter,” and the Wall Street Journal hiring its first “tech & family columnist.” My personal favorite, Cheddar, also hired reporters to cover topics like cryptocurrency. Now, blockchain articles are seated alongside NFL and celebrity news.

As Vox’s founder Ezra Klein tweeted “Tech isn’t some other subject that’s over there, or that only happens in tech companies or Silicon Valley. It’s pervasive, it runs through everything, often in ways its creators don’t understand.” Well said, Ezra. Well said.

Local press is starting to care about tech.

Yep, I said it. Community news is finally giving this economic driver the spotlight it deserves. Most notably, the American City Business Journals expanded its American Inno platform to locales like Atlanta and Rhode Island.

In addition, papers like the San Antonio Express-News and Charleston’s Post and Courier hired first-time tech beat reporters in 2018. Meanwhile new local tech trade sites launched, such as the Research Triangle’s GrepBeat. And hold on to your cowboy hat, because the Idaho Business Review even launched a tech newsletter this year.

So, while many newsrooms are slashing headcount or shuttering all together, tech press is thriving. To fill this demand, many journalists who used to cover topics like real estate and hospitality are now finding themselves on very technical beats. In an effort to educate this growing crop of tech journos, TechCrunch writer John Biggs launched Tech4 Reporters in early 2018, an online resource where real nerds answer hard questions.

Bottom line –  tech headlines are everywhere today. If your software or hardware company wants to get in on the action in 2019, contact ARPR today.

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