Fresh out of the studio, Terence Lee and Jon Russell, two editors from well-known technology news outlets, joined us in a roundtable to discuss the evolution of media coverage in Asia in the past decade and offered their perspectives on what the future of media coverage would look like in the next decade. We discuss how different newsrooms deal with scoops and tip offs from sources, handle the right to reply with companies who are affected by the breaking news and the challenge of covering companies in Asia.
"Usually the rule of thumb is that: we are very careful with anonymous sources. The bar that we set is that if the source has direct knowledge of what's happening, that is usually credible. If you see a message from the CEO, if it's something like hearsay, or this person give us something from that person, we have a lot more to be careful and broadly speaking, that's how it works." - Terence Lee
"So there's a very fine balance between doing things properly and mostly trying to make sure that you've got this lead in the right." - Jon Russell
Disclaimer before discussion: BL has ownership of Tech In Asia indirectly and Jon and Terence do not represent the opinions and views of the media outlets which they work for as we reflected on how media coverage has been evolving in Asia.
Here are the links and show notes for this episode:
- Terence Lee, Editor in Chief from Tech in Asia (LinkedIn, @terenceleejx, Tech in Asia Profile)
- Jon Russell, Editor, Southeast Asia, The Ken (@jonrussell, LinkedIn, Newsletter, Personal Site, The Ken Profile)
- Introduction to Terence Lee and his role in Tech In Asia given it’s his first appearance on Analyse Asia podcast.
Evolution of Media Coverage in Asia Roundtable Discussion
- Given that both of you have covered the Asia region for relatively a decade, what has changed over the course of the decade? Have both the corporate communications and the press become more sophisticated?
- In building your own teams, how do you establish the mechanisms, for example, researching a story, publishing a story and dealing with the backlash from the published story?
- How do you decide to cover a specific company or story about the people in the company?
- How does fact checking work when the story moves towards something that can be damaging to the company?
- Are there ethical guidelines from the newsroom point of view? Can you outline some steps which you use for verification and validation?
- Many companies send press releases to the tech press, hoping that the press covers their story with their talking points. Can you provide your thoughts on what companies should do when they send this information out?
- Can you talk about one or two examples about actual incidents where you fact checked and publish something that was factual? What would you have done differently in each of those situations?
- When you publish an expose or something damaging to a rising company or a company in the midst of financing, what are the mechanisms to engage the company for a response?
- The difference between the US and the rest of the world is the first amendment and the libel or defamation laws favor the companies against the press in Asia Pacific. How do Asian media outlets cope with the challenges of providing evidence? What should they do or not do?
- The Peter Thiel vs Gawker case - What are your thoughts if a billionaire can leverage the same mechanism to shut down a press in Asia Pacific?
- Recommendations, anyone?
- Terence's recommendation: Matthew Ball's Metaverse Primer
- Jon's recommendation: The Athletic
- Where can our audience find both of you? Please feel free to plug your respective subscription packages.
Podcast Information: The show is hosted and produced by Bernard Leong (@bernardleong, Linkedin) and Carol Yin (@CarolYujiaYin, LinkedIn). Sound credits for the intro and end music: "Run it" by DJ Snake, Rick Ross and Rich Brian and the episode is edited by Thomas Craig.