Rob Pegoraro, gutsy consumer tech reporter, to leave Washington Post: Why not instead assign him to chronicle America’s declining tech prowess?

imageImagine working for a newspaper and vigorously knocking its iPhone app as a waste of money, even at $2 a year. That’s exactly what Rob Pegoraro, the Faster Forward columnist at the Washington Post, did without consequences—a good reflection on both him and his bosses.

But it turns out that Rob is leaving the Post after all for different reasons. The Post will be doing more hyperlocal and political coverage, and I can understand the need to prioritize. Still, some people shine brightly enough to transcend it all. As I wrote in a comment in  Rob’s new blog, he was one of them. I’ll always remember his incisive writings on topics of special interest to me, such as e-books and DRM.

Beyond that, I hate to see the Post expanding in the already-crowded area of political coverage and perhaps doing more horse-race stories at the expense of the issues—one of which happens to be American’s declining prowess in technology, a driver of future economic growth. A much smarter move would have been to reposition Rob rather than let him go. Of course, at this point he may simply feel ready to move on to another company.

And speaking of tech: I’m continuing the Scandals site but blogging more often right now at, where I’m calling for the creation of a well-stocked national digital library system, integrated with schools and local libraries—a truly full-service approach with proper balance between the needs of academia and those of the nation at large.

Detail for the sharp-eyed: Yes, that’s Rob’s picture but the writing of another Post staffer in the screen shot of the current Faster Forward.

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David Rothman

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