Bubbleborn: Trent Lapinski, MySpace exposer

Face it, old-timer: Generation Y is already pushing you out the door. Valleywag's here to show you the Bubbleborn, the crowd of upstarts and young bucks overthrowing the Valley. Whether they're inflating or popping the new tech bubble, this is the world they'll shape.

Our first Bubbleborn is a 19-year-old journo student who just landed his first job, at a magazine where he'll publish his investigative series on the MySpace founders. Trent Lapinski is working on a story (due out in June) that compiles and confirms his earlier work examining the MySpace history that the major press isn't telling. As earlier reported, Trent says MySpace was founded by a spam company with shady insider-trading ethics. MySpace already threatened Trent with a defamation lawsuit, but they haven't followed it up with action — because, Trent tells me, they're too vulnerable to risk the press a suit would bring.

"I've already had some major breaks in the story," he says, "and I'm working to follow the money and conducting interviews with anyone I can get to talk. I've had some success and I believe when all is said and done a lot of people are going to have a very different opinion of MySpace."

And Trent has a grander vision than clearing the air about just one dot-com. After the jump, he indicts the Old Guard of yellow journalism and PR sycophancy.

I'm just working to restore what journalism was originally all about: bringing the truth to the people and being a watchdog against the government and corporations. Pretty much thanks to the 24 hours news channels, "news" as we know has declined in quality simply because they use emotion to get people to watch instead of actually doing any work in following what is going on... Meanwhile there is a considerable generation gap between today's Internet youth and the TV generation above us... The Internet generation is currently outnumbered, doesn't have much voting power, and has yet to really prove themselves in the business world, which subsequently prevents today's youth from getting positions in the media. But who better to investigate and tell the stories of today than those who grew up in a tech era?

The other considerable problem is PR. I've been running an Apple news website, AppleXnet.com, for 5 years now, and it's given me major insight into the technology world, and it's nothing but a press release machine. There is no news when it comes to technology because everything is a marketing stunt, ploy, or sales technique. I literally once had someone tell me that it is a journalist's duty to rehash PR into something concise, yet without it sounding like PR. Jack Campbell, he's a guy who ran a series of Apple accessories companyies and scams. My site broke several stories about him and his scams which ultimately lead to the company's bankruptcy. In an attempt to get us to stop looking into him, he decided to tell us what we should be doing instead, rehashing PR. It was laughable.

Earlier on Trent's work: Spammers and ex-cons, not Tom, made MySpace, says journalism student [Valleywag]