Believe it or not, there are other important mergers taking place other than Comcast and Time Warner. Verizon is purchasing AOL, along with media properties, for a cool $4.4 billion. This will put Verizon in charge of tech sites like TechCrunch and Engadget. Whether or not their reporting will be fair and unbiased is called into question based on Verizon’s last tech blog venture known as SugarString.
SugarString was Verizon’s attempt at an in-house blog focused on technology. Many of the writers for the site were reportedly sent emails outlining topics that couldn’t be covered during the interview process. No surprise, Verizon banned all topics covering net neutrality and government spy programs; two things Verizon has a personal stake in.
Verizon’s response to the SugarString emails was that the site could be used to provide relevant coverage to anything that would “elevate the conversation around technology” according to Marcio Alaor BMG. I guess anything goes as long as it doesn’t expose two of the biggest controversies in technology.
SugarString was subsequently shut down following the email drama. It should be fairly easy to see if the new editorial guidelines are being imposed on TechCrunch and Engadget. Just watch the headlines and check out the glaring omissions made by the telecom giant.