This sucks. The National Journal's Technology Daily is shutting down. This means that the country's only source of focused daily technology policy news will soon be no longer.
According to an email blast sent to subscribers today, the online pub closes at the end of January.
I was an original subscriber way back in 1998 -- back when Bara Vaida was the pub's first star reporter -- and stuck with it through what is (shockingly) almost a decade. It was and is the only place to get a consistent and in-depth perspective on issues that are otherwise glossed over or opined to-death by know-it-alls (who know little).
Over the years, Tech Daily, frankly, became a little too easy to take for granted. It was always there in a way that was almost overwhelming for even the biggest tech policy geek. But, when you really needed a quick perspective on policy doings related to issues like Health IT, cybersecurity, or copyright (to name just a few), you could get everything you need and more with just a little time on the site. Just as importantly, from a tech policy communications perspective, you knew that when you needed to provide a clients' viewpoint on an issue, there would very likely be an educated, highly-professional reporter at Tech Daily who would be up to speed.
Despite the high cost of a Tech Daily subscription, it's understood that the pub ran a tight margin. Apparently, for whatever reason, Tech Daily recently ran on the wrong side of the red/black line in the opinion of its corporate parent.
Now, the National Journal promises "we will be adding reporters to CongressDaily – our twice daily publication for Capitol Hill insiders – to enhance coverage of technology policies, while also devoting additional space and resources to better track technology-related issues within the public policy arena."
Basically, this means that some of the Tech Daily guys will be moved over there. This is certainly the silver lining and Congress Daily will benefit from their keen insight, but, even with these stars, the tech policy community will have to reserve judgement on whether a "general" issues pub can provide the level of coverage required of the issues that impact them to make a switch.
I only hope that the Tech Daily Dose blog stays and is given more attention to make up for this move.
What is odd about all of this is that, while Tech Daily may have been "early" in 1998, it would seem that tech policy issues have only increased in their importance year after year. Seemingly, it would be more essential now, then ever.
Then again, when you think twice about it, Tech Daily may have become a victim of its own prescience. As we have argued here before. Someday soon, tech policy issues will just become another fine shade of business, consumer and government issues. That is, as tech moves into our fabric of our lives, perhaps the need to make a regular special notice of all of its machinations dissipates.
Whatever the reason, I'm sad to see Tech Daily go.