CNN has a story claiming MySpace helped foil a school shooting. Last week I said that MySpace isn’t the problem the news media has made it out to be. Heck, any place high schoolers can […]
On Friday, a good friend asked me to look at a news story about Apple legal sending an unwelcome letter to an eight year-old girl. The letter basically told her to get lost. Apparently, the third grader had sent a letter to Apple CEO Steve Jobs suggesting a new feature for iPods: Lyrics viewing. She got her response, not from Steve but an Apple lawyer, about three months later. Turns out that Apple has a policy against taking unsolicited ideas, which the letter clearly stated.
The news story focused on the little girl’s hurt feelings and Apple’s slap-in-the-face response. Earth to Apple: Lawyers=bad PR. Always. But the response was lame for another reason: The feature already is available on iPods. It’s just not well publicized.
Just about every year, PC Magazine columnist John Dvorak writes about the death of Apple. He’s been wrong every year—actually about lots of things he writes about. Now he claims that there is media bias in favor of Apple, because, “today’s newspaper and magazine tech writers know little about computers and are all Mac users. It’s a fact”.
He continues, “I could list 50 [technology writers.] Readers should thus not be surprised by the overcoverage of Apple Computer. Every time Steve Jobs sneezes there is a collective chorus of ‘Gesundheit’ from tech writers pounding away on their Macs”.
Sometimes I wonder what print publication editors think, what’s accidental or intentional in publishing and what is the backstory beyond certain decisions. Excellent example is last week’s New York Times Magazine.
On page 78 starts an article about luxury hybrid vehicles. Part way through the story is a two-page ad for Lexus, the kind of ad no legitimate publication would allow. Tagline: “Welcome to the Luxury Hybrid”. An ad for a Lexus hybrid vehicle in a story about hybrid vehicles? For shame! Print publication tradition, particularly in the esteemed New York Times Magazine, would forbid the mixing of editorial and related ad copy.
I recently nearly canceled my subscription to all my Ziff-Davis publications—and I still may. My disgust with the outrageous favoritism toward Microsoft had been brewing for months. I read news reports and reviews no one short of Microsoft’s flagship PR firm, Waggener Edstrom, could be spinning. Editors, rather than doing their jobs, were printing the gospel according to marketers holed up in a Redmond, Wash. closet.
The final straw was a July PC Computing article titled, “Office 97 vs. The World”. There contributors Leslie Ayers, Peter Deegan, Lee Hudspeth, T.J. Lee, Woody Leonhard, and Eileen Wharmby explained why Microsoft’s newest rendition of its productivity suite replaced virtually all other business programs.