Clerkenwell tech blog forced to shut down over financial difficulties

Milo Yiannopoulos, founder and editor-in-chief of the Kernel. Image: Paul Carr
Milo Yiannopoulos, founder and editor-in-chief of the Kernel. Image: Paul Carr
Milo Yiannopoulos, founder and editor-in-chief of the Kernel. Image: Paul Carr

Correction: We reported that Mic Wright was owed £4,000 by the Kernel. He has since contacted us to say that this is not the case. The story was changed at 2:40pm on March 7 2013

A technology blog based in Clerkenwell Road stopped publishing on Tuesday citing financial problems.

Milo Yiannopoulos, founder and editor-in-chief of the Kernel, wrote that he was “unable to turn ferocious, funny and brave journalism into gold” and that the responsibility for the venture’s financial difficulties “lies squarely with me personally”.

A former contributor to the Kernel, Margot Huysman, told the Guardian that she was owed more than £4,000. Yiannopoulos did not confirm or deny the claim, but said parent company Sentinel Media was “in good health”. Huysman writes for The Sunday Times.

Sean Anderson, a student journalist at Cardiff University, says he is owed £336.12 in expenses for his two weeks of work experience at the Kernel last summer.

“I wrote a few articles for the website as an intern, but declined to write any copy as a freelance until my internship expenses had been paid,” he said.

“The Kernel had a great mission statement. It’s a shame to see it ruined like this,” he told Islington Now.

Yiannopoulos did not provide Islington Now with a comment after Anderson’s claim was put to him.

The Kernel claimed to have “thousands of subscribers”. Its paid-for product was a weekly email newsletter subscription, the Nutshell, that cost £5.50 a month.

Yiannopoulos founded the blog in December 2011 promising “to take on every question in business and technology“.

The journalist and broadcaster has been involved in a number of rows with others in the technology and media industries since the Kernel’s launch. In May last year he wrote a post whose headline called David Rowan, UK editor of WIRED, a “bitch”. Rowan had called the Nutshell “legally uncautious [sic]”.

In July, Charles Arthur, technology editor of the Guardian, wrote to the Kernel claiming it had used one of his photographs without correct attribution. Yiannopoulos published Arthur’s emails and asked whether he needed “medical attention”.

Yiannopoulos wrote on his personal website: “Things hadn’t been going right for a while, and people had noticed.” He added that he was “flooded with relief…tempered with immense regret”.