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Should Journalists Accept Free Travel to Apple Events or Any Others?

This morning, I awoke to a perplexing question in the BetaNews Tips inbox. Reader Mark Bryant shares a story from Medium and asks: “Should Journalists be obliged to declare in their reviews that the company has paid for business class travel to the event and given them free devices?” It’s a goddamn good question given too little attention.

“The True Bendgate: How Apple Bends Reality and Why the Media is Playing Along”, by Richard Gutjahr with German-to-English translation by Elka Sloan, is excellent and informative reading. Medium is good forum for the tale. Richard tells about receiving an invite to last month’s iPhone 6 and 6 Plus launch event, for which he reports Apple paid for transportation. [Read more]

iPhone 6 Plus
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Journalist sets Standard for Follow-up Gadget Reviews

Whenever I receive loaner devices, I ask to keep them for months because long-term use reveals much. Initial reviews often miss important usability benefits or problems only prolonged usage reveals. No one can get to every feature or receive all the benefits in one day or week.

Something else: As I often say, in news reporting, or reviews, bias is inevitable. Time helps extinguish the new thing glow that can bias reviews and make them more favorable than the products deserve. As the glow darkens, sounder perspective brightens. [Read more]

Newsroom
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Newsroom and Masthead Matters

I normally pan top-10 lists, but this one sings, eh, zings: “10 Top Tips For PRs Considering Whether To Phone The Register. Dek: “You’ll Read These And LOL Even Though They’re Serious”. Read `em and believe `em, if public relations is your fame and contacting Joe Wilcox is your game.

The Reg gives great guidance, and I needn’t really add to the list but will a tinsy-bit. I read and file most PR emails sent directly to me. I just likely won’t respond, or will forward the message to someone else on the team. So if you don’t hear from me, despair not. [Read more]

Highway
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Robert Scoble and I Turn in Opposite Directions But Share Destination

While checking Robert Scoble’s website for a link, I came across something quite unexpected: “I have completely moved to social media“. Bwahaha! He goes one way, while I head another. I’m in the process of pulling back my online posts to my personal blog, which will act as the hub for social media as the spokes.

There is nothing original about the idea. Lots of bloggers put social services second. I have long waffled between the two approaches, with the majority of my personal posting going to Google+ since summer 2011. Main reason: Large audience of followers and lots of interaction with them. [Read more]

Pig in Mud
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Journalism and the Corporate Blog Problem

Blame—or perhaps credit, depending on viewpoint—for corporate blogging’s impact on news reporting belongs to Vic Gundotra, Len Pryor, and Robert Scoble. (Robert claims to “have completely moved to social media“; he’ll be back, so I link to his blog.) These three people played pivotal roles bringing to life Microsoft’s Channel 9 blogsite, which launched a decade ago.

I am in process of restoring my blog posts made to TypePad during the last decade, starting with 2004. The process is manual, rather than automatic, so that I can check links and also get some sense of who I was then as filter for better understanding who I am now. This morning I reposted, unchanged, “Corporate Blogsite: Marketing Veiled as News“, from April of that year. A week earlier, Channel 9, which is that post’s focus, went live. [Read more]