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The Techlash and Tech Crisis Communication

Nirit Weiss-Blatt
USC Annenberg, USA

Product Details
24 Mar 2021
Emerald Publishing Limited
208 pages - 152 x 229mm

This book provides an in-depth analysis of the evolution of tech journalism. The emerging tech-backlash is a story of pendulum swings: We are currently in tech-dystopianism after a long period spent in tech-utopianism. Tech companies were used to 'cheerleading' coverage of product launches. This long tech-press honeymoon ended, and was replaced by a new era of mounting criticism focused on tech's negative impact on society. When and why did tech coverage shift? How did tech companies respond to the rise of tech criticism?

The book depicts three main eras: Pre-Techlash, Techlash, and Post-Techlash. The reader is taken on a journey from computer magazines, through tech blogs to the upsurge of tech investigative reporting. It illuminates the profound changes in the power dynamics between the media and the tech giants it covers.

The interplay between tech journalism and tech PR was underexplored. Through analyses of both tech media and the corporates' crisis responses, this book examines the roots and characteristics of the Techlash, and provides explanations to 'How did we get here?'. Insightful observations by tech journalists and tech public relations professionals are added to the research data, and together - they tell the story of the TECHLASH. It includes theoretical and practical implications for both tech enthusiasts and critics.

Chapter 1. Tech News and Tech Public Relations 
Chapter 2. Big Tech – Big Scandals 
Chapter 3. Tech Crisis Communication 
Chapter 4. Evolving Techlash Issues 
Chapter 5. Never-Ending Criticism?
Nirit Weiss-Blatt, Ph.D., is a Research Fellow at the University of Southern California (USC), Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Her expertise is in the tech news field. Prior to her academic journey, she has worked in tech public relations, representing International tech companies and entrepreneurs, and as a tech journalist and a deputy-editor.
In this deeply researched work, Nirit Weiss-Blatt provides an invaluable record of tech media's mood swing as its portrayal of Silicon Valley lurched from utopian to dystopian. This is much more than a book about tech's PR problems. Weiss-Blatt's trenchant analysis of the news industry restores nuance to the debate over technology and society. - Jeff Jarvis, Director, Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism, The Leonard Tow Professor of Journalism Innovation, CUNY

Nirit's in-depth study of tech media chronicles the reputational rise and fall of an entire industry while providing valuable insights to those who work in it. The book provides PR professionals, journalists, and students with a comprehensive analysis of the Techlash's core issues. Whether you're working in tech journalism or tech PR, the book will broader your understanding of the media scrutiny, the tech clients, and, thus, help you define the future correspondence between the two. - Fred Cook, Chairman of Golin, Professor of Professional Practice, Director of the USC Center for Public Relations

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