Is moderated discussion a better way to do technology trade journalism?

Every morning I wake up, pour myself a giant cup of coffee, and power through more news than most people see in a week. One of the sites that’s part of my morning routine is Product Hunt.

This morning, an app called Outplanr that was “hunted” caught my eye. I took a gander at the discussion and something in the way the moderator’s questions were phrased and the way the product’s CEO responded got me thinking: Is moderated discussion a better way to do technology trade journalism?

Most tech trade interviews for new products begin with a core set of standard questions. The discussion thread format (again, moderated for sanity) allows for questions and answers beyond a single human. It’s a transparent model. Could a format like this eliminate the need for useless tech press releases, using a public challenge/response as a new industry PR/journalism standard? Could it free up time for journalists to do deeper reporting than covering questionable new product announcements?

Does it work for every industry? Maybe not. Does it replace other necessary types of journalism? Definitely not. Is it something flacks and hacks should be looking more closely at? Probably.

What do you think? Sound off in the comments.

*Disclosure/humblebrag: My comms advisory service is on Product Hunt. Feel free to jump into the journalism…er, discussion thread.

2 responses to “Is moderated discussion a better way to do technology trade journalism?”

  1. Hi Mike. Thanks for picking up on this. I was also surprised when Ben reached out to us as I’ve never seen this question format on ProductHunt before. I think it’s a great new approach. Feels more intimate and humane as it’s not edited.


  2. I think it is a very good format. We already have the interview format though, I’m not sure what is different. It’s not appropriate for everything, such as press releases, which are mostly background information and some quotes.

    More types of media formats are all good, there are many ways to be creative with our digital media technologies!


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