Photo: Scott Beale (Laughing Squid)
Leading tech writer Michael Arrington has taken a lot of heat lately for his decision to get back into investing in startups and venture funds.What’s weird about that is Om Malik, another top tech writer, is a venture partner at True Ventures. (True just participated in a $6 million round of funding for GigaOm, his blog network.)
Despite the fact that Malik is a partner at True, we can’t remember a single instance of someone moaning about his conflicts of interest, or what his position means.
It seems somewhat unfair to Arrington.
We asked Malik for his take, and here’s what he had to say:
I don’t write about True companies, and whenever one of our writers do write about a True company, there is a disclosure even if there is a tangential mention of those companies. In addition, GigaOM is run by a team of professionals who manage things on a daily basis. They are very stringent about everything. It is a team led by our editor, Nicole Solis.
As for my role – I am Chairman of GigaOM and I write my occasional Om Says and help with the strategy of the company. I help with our events and am on stage at most of these events. I write about things I use and things I have opinions on. I don’t write news stories personally unless it happens to be a big break like Microsoft-Skype.
We followed up and asked him what happens when he hears about big news. Does he report it? How does he balance life as a VC man and writer? Here’s what he said:
I don’t share any True news with any writer at GigaOM. If I do hear some news tidbits, I share with our editors who then make their decisions. As I said, sometimes I have a big enough scoop like Microsoft-Skype and I will follow up on that because it is a big story for me. As I said earlier, I keep both my worlds separate and siloed.
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