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Dr. Nirit Weiss-Blatt, Ph.D. 

"The emerging tech-backlash
is a story of pendulum swings"

About the Author

Dr. Nirit Weiss-Blatt, Ph.D., is a Former Research Fellow at the University of Southern California, Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Her expertise is in the tech news field.

Prior to her academic journey, she worked on both sides of the fence: began her career in tech public relations, representing international tech companies and entrepreneurs, and later switched sides to work as a tech journalist and a deputy editor. Those experiences led her to examine the various forces which shape the tech discourse.

 

  • Lectures / Courses / Consulting

For lectures and courses on Tech Journalism and the Techlash, as well as consulting services on Tech Crisis Communication, you can reach Dr. Weiss-Blatt at nirit(at)TechlashBook(dot)com.

 

 

The Techlash Book

 

"The TECHLASH and Tech Crisis Communication" book is about Tech Journalism and Tech PR.

 

It Tells the "Inside Story" of the Backlash Against Big Tech.

 

  

- Research Questions:

 

1. When and why did the tech coverage shift?

 

2. How did tech companies respond to the rise of tech criticism? Which crisis communication strategies were utilized?

 

3. What can we learn about the more profound changes in the power relations between the tech media and the tech giants they cover?

 

 

- Research methods:

 

1. AI-Media monitoring, Big Data analytics to identify the tech companies' peaks of coverage and evolving criticism.

 

2. Content analysis of the tech companies' crisis responses to reveal their strategies.

 

- Most analyses focused on Facebook, Google (Alphabet, including YouTube), Twitter, Uber, Apple, Microsoft, Samsung, Yahoo, and Amazon.

Also in the book: IBM, Intel, Tesla, and Equifax (due to its data breach = "The largest data breach of personal information in history").

 

3. In-depth interviews with actors on both sides of the story, leading tech journalists and tech PR professionals to create a virtual panel of experts, debating the broader meaning of the Techlash.

 

Contents

THE PRE-TECHLASH ERA Section
Chapter 1. Tech News and Tech Public Relations


THE TECHLASH ERA Section
Chapter 2. Big Tech – Big Scandals
Chapter 3. Tech Crisis Communication
Chapter 4. Evolving Techlash Issues


THE POST-TECHLASH ERA Section
Chapter 5. Never-Ending Criticism?

 

 

Sample chapter

You can read a free chapter of the book here:

book2look.jpgBook2Look

 

 

 

Book Excerpts

Audiobook

Listen to some samples

 

Retail

 

 

 

Libraries

 

  • ebsco-logo-final.jpghoopla-logo-final.jpg

 

Hardcover & eBook

 

  

Endorsements

  • "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, Blogger, BuzzMachine. He is also the author of "What Would Google Do?", "Public Parts", "Geeks Bearing Gifts", and "Gutenberg the Geek." 

 

  • "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. He is also the author of "Improvise: Unconventional Career Advice from an Unlikely CEO."

 

 

Expert interviews

  • The full list of interviewees includes their positions at the time of the interview.
  • Their observations throughout the book reflect their personal points of view and do not represent their organizations.

 

Tech journalism

The Atlantic - Alexis Madrigal, Staff Writer

The Verge - Casey Newton, Senior Editor & Silicon Valley Editor

BuzzMachine - Jeff Jarvis, Blogger / Director, Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism, The Leonard Tow Professor of Journalism Innovation, CUNY (The City University of New York)

BuzzFeed News - John Paczkowski, Technology and Business Editor

Reuters News - Jonathan Weber, Global Industry Editor for Technology

TechCrunch - Josh Constine, Editor-At-Large

Recode - Kara Swisher, Co-Founder and Co-Executive Editor

New York Times - Kashmir Hill, Technology Reporter

TechDirt - Mike Masnick, Founder and Editor in Chief

The Information - Nick Wingfield, Senior Editor

CNET - Richard Nieva, Senior Reporter

Wired - Scott Thurm, Business Editor

Anonymized - Tech Editor

 

Tech public relations

LaunchSquad - Brett Weiner, Partner

WE Communications - Katie Huang Shin, President of Technology Sector and Chief Strategy Officer

Ruder Finn - Rowan Benecke, Chief Growth Officer

Golin - Stephen Jones, Executive Vice President, Catalyst Community Leader

Anonymized - Senior PR executive

 

 

In the Media

 

 

 

  • TWiG (This Week in Google): How tech journalism changed since 2016

TWiT | Podcast Guru | YouTube: Full episode | What is the TechLash? | transcript

 

  • Techdirt podcast: How the Techlash happend

SoundCloud | Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | transcript

 

 

  • Innovation Files: How pack journalism and predictable crisis PR responses have influenced the Techlash

Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | Castbox | ITIF | transcript

 

  • Business Bookshelf: Dr. Nirit Weiss-Blatt - Author of "The Techlash and Tech Crisis Communication"

Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify | Anchor.FM | Business Bookshelf | transcript

 

 

  • The PRovoke Media Podcast: The role of communication in Techlash

PRovoke Media | Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify | PodBean | transcript

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Emerald Podcast Series: Understanding the Techlash Era

Emerald | Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify | transcript

 

 

  • Tech'ed Up: Big Tech PR: Battling Techlash

Tech'ed Up | Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify | transcript

 

 

 

  • Keen On: Why the Techlash Has Gone Too Far

Keen On | Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify

 

 

 

 

 

- All of Nirit's Techdirt posts

 

  • My comment about Facebook's rebrand to Meta generated a widespread discussion.

For example, CNNBBCThe GuardianUSA TodayYahoo FinanceThe Mercury NewsThe Week UKThe London EconomicJerusalem Post.

 

  • An article in Forbes quoted the book for a discussion about the start-up's ethical movement: "In The Techlash, Nirit Weiss-Blatt chronicles the change in the nature of media coverage of the tech industry, from fawning admiration to a more critical stance that is slightly more capable of seeing warts in the sector."

 

  • An article in Forbes quoted the book for a discussion about employee well-being: "Various stories of workers revolting against such practices have emerged in books such as The Techlash, by the University of Southern California's Nirit Weiss-Blatt, and Alex Rosenblatt's Uberland, with such stories taking some of the unvarnished veneers off of the march of technology in recent years."

 

  • FamilyandMedia – an international think-tank with research members from Italy, Spain, Mexico, Colombia, and Chile – published a review of my book in three languages:

    EnglishItalian, and Spanish.

    The author of this piece is a marketing expert from Italy, who wrote: "In her book The Techlash and Tech Crisis Communication, she explores how – and through which means – tech companies have responded to the spreading negative sentiments about them and summarizes valuable lessons." 

 

  • In the 2022 Israel Brands Index, Google ranks first.
    Far behind, at number 123 (!): Facebook.
    WHY?
    An interview with Globes - Israel's financial newspaper (in Hebrew & English).

Reviews