John Naughton: Farewell Walt Mossberg, the scourge of Silicon Valley | John Naughton

His pioneering journalism held the industry to the same standards as other manufacturing sectors

Walt Mossberg has written his final column. Some people in the tech industry will probably have heaved a sigh of relief, because the one guy in mainstream journalism who never drank their Kool-Aid is going dark. But for those of us who value common sense and a cussedly independent temperament, his retirement is a moment for reflection.

Unlike most of the Stanford and Harvard alumni whose tech companies’ products he relentlessly scrutinised, Mossberg came from working-class origins. His grandfather was an upholsterer (and a union organiser) and his father was a door-to-door salesman who flogged dishes and blankets to millworkers. He went to Brandeis University and Columbia School of Journalism and then landed a job as a reporter (at $9,000 a year) on the Wall Street Journal, the house organ of American capitalism.

Related: Vanishing point: the rise of the invisible computer

Mossberg’s readers felt that here, at last, was someone who was on their side

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